Vol 1.04 - Vayeira                  Spanish French Audio  Video

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Par 1) The story of the Rebbe Rashab who cried in his youth why Hashem did not appear to him and the answer of the
          Tzemach Tzedek (HaYom Yom 103)

Par 8) The birth of Yitzchak after the circumcision of Avraham - The lesson from the Avodah of Yitzchak  


1. As today is the 20th Marcheshvan- the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab who’s soul is in Heaven,- My father-in-law’s father- I will tell over a story, which I once already recounted:

The Rebbe (Rashab) who’s soul is in Heaven would (on) every 20th of Cheshvan- his birthday- go in to his grandfather, the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek (‘s room), to request a bracha. Perhaps that this was also the order by the other grandchildren of the Tzemach Tzedek.

One time when the Rebbe (Rashab) entered- (he was then four or five years old, since the Rebbe (Rashab) was born in the year 5621 (1860), and in Nissan 5626 the Tzemach Tzedek passed away)- He (The child) had burst out crying. The Tzemach Tzedek asked him why are you crying? He answered, that he had learned in the Torah (or heard it being described) that G-d had revealed Himself to Abraham our father (it was (the week of) the portion of Vayeira), he cried, why has He not revealed Himself to him?

The Tzemach Tzedek answered him: That when a Jew (a second version (of what he said;) a Jew, a Tzadik) decides within himself at 99 years old, that he needs to circumcise himself, he is worthy that G-d should reveal Himself to him. The answer was accepted by the child and he stopped crying.

2. Although the story with the Rebbe (Rashab) occurred when he was a child before bar mitzvah, and before he “reached (the age for) education”- nevertheless we need to “learn” this story, since the Rebbe (Rashab) recounted the story to his only son- the (Previous) Rebbe, and the Rebbe told it over (to the Chassidim) it should be communicated it to the world, is a proof that the story touches us as well. We can learn from this (story) two concepts, i.e. both from the question and also from the answer.

3. From the Rebbe’s crying over the fact that G-d had not revealed Himself to him, one can learn, that every Jew- in whichever situation he should find himself in, even he if he is (has) “Not reached (the age or spiritual level of) education” i.e. that he has doesn’t have much “knowledge (of G-dly things), to such an e

tent, that not only that he himself doesn’t understand, rather he can also not take any influence from another,

-in years he can even be big (i.e. very old), but in spirituality he is a young (child) who (has) not reached the (age) of education”. Just like my father in-law the Rebbe had said that Jewish years are not calculated according to (one’s) passport. On a passport he can be an older Jew, but in his true, spiritual years, in his fulfillment of Torah and mitzvahs, he is a small child who plays under his table,-

Also he can demand, and demand strongly that this is the concept of crying,

-a concept which is higher than his understanding, higher than intellect which cannot take this anymore, so from “an overabundance of intellect” come tears

That G-d should reveal himself to him, as (He did) to Abraham our father.

4. Even more: he can demand that G-d should reveal Himself to him as he had revealed Himself to Abraham our father after he had fulfilled the commandment of circumcision, that in this situation (i.e. Abraham’s spiritual level at that time) was the (level of) “G-d appeared to him”.

Also before this (the circumcision) we find the revelation of the (extremely spiritually high level) of Havaye to Abraham, but it was not equal to the disclosure (of)- “And He revealed”- which was after the circumcision, which is a much higher (spiritual revelation).

When G-d had disclosed Himself to Abraham, after the commandment of circumcision he had already then (at that time been) named Abraham with an additional “Hay (letter from the alphabet)”, on this the Gemara says that then Abraham was a master over his 5 organs: (two) eyes, (two) ears, and the (place of the holy covenant, where he made the bris) which according to nature, man is not a master over them. Previously he was named Abram without a “Hay”. He was a master only over that which a man can rule according to nature. But afterwards through this that he used his own abilities- as much as one can do with his own ability- he was given from Heaven also such concepts that alone one cannot come to them and he became a master also over these things, which according to nature one cannot rule them.

From this it is understood that the revelation to Abraham our father after the commandment of circumcision was much higher than before.

Nevertheless, every Jew can- even those who (have) “not reached the age of education” in spirituality- also demand, that G-d should reveal Himself to him as he had revealed Himself to Abraham when he was already holding by the level of after the commandment of circumcision.

5. From the Tzemach Tzedek’s answer, that the revelation to Abraham was therefore that he knew that he needed to circumcise himself, (from this) one can learn: that truly, every Jew can demand that G-d should reveal Himself to him. But it calls for a preparation: he should know that one needs to circumcise himself, i.e. that not looking at all the all the levels he has in actuality, or at least in potential,  

- in potential every Jew can attain to the highest levels, as we have said previously and as it states that every Jew is obligated to say: “When will my actions reach the (level) of the actions of my fathers of Abraham Isaac and Jacob?” from this that he mentions Abraham together with Isaac and Jacob is also a proof that we are speaking of Abraham, in the level that he stood after the commandment of circumcision -

Nevertheless, he needs to know that he needs to circumcise himself.

6. Even more:  Also those which have these levels in actuality, namely the Tzaddikim who rule also (over) the limbs that naturally one cannot (have) mastery over them- like Abraham our father- also they need to know that they need to circumcise themselves.

- is it known the story with the Rebbe (Rashab) Who’s soul is in Heaven, that once he had complained that he couldn’t hear in one ear. When they had began to look for reason thereof they discovered, that Shabbos when he had said Chassidus, there was chatting in a second room, and this had disrupted him from saying the discourse. Being as he had felt the responsibility that his concept is to give over Chassidus, and the chatting had disturbed him- he had removed the sense of hearing from the ear which was to the side of that room.

And this is that it states in a discourse that Tzaddikim have taken away from themselves (their) sight or hearing when it had disturbed (their) G-dly soul’s. Since Tzaddikim are masters also over the senses that a person cannot naturally rule over them -

But also such (Tzadikim) who stand in such a high level need to know that they need to circumcise themselves.

7. The reason for this is; since even when there is only a very small spiritual “foreskin” (of the G-dly soul) it can, after much downward gradation (of spirituality), lower itself into low things.

And this is the precision of the Tzemach Tzedek’s expression, that a Jew a Tzadik at ninety-nine years old knows that he needs to circumcise himself. At 100 years old- i.e. that he had purified all ten powers (of his soul), every power as it consists of ten (in and of itself)- then he already doesn’t have anything to fear, since he already has no connection to worldly matters, as it states in the (Ethics of our Fathers) “At one hundred (years old) it is as if one is dead and passed away and nullified from the world”

- since seemingly it is not understood what is said in Ethics of our fathers “At one hundred (years old) it is as if one is dead and passed away and nullified from the world”. All the concepts that (the Mishnah) calculates there are actual lessons in how to conduct oneself, “5 years old to (the study of) Torah, 10 years old to (study of the) Mishnah, 13 years old to (performing) commandments …” but what (kind) of directive is this, that at 100 years old he is “as if one is dead and passed away and nullified from the world”? Rather the simple (explanation is) that when he had already purified all 10 powers and specifically (in all) details, as everyone consists of 10, he is “ one hundred (years old), man “he is as if he passed away and is nullified from the world”, he no longer has a connection to the worldly matters and he has nothing to fear of, as if he would have no longer had an evil inclination -

But when he is 99 years old, he is lacking (a little) something in the purification of all 10 powers (in their) details, then he needs to circumcise himself, since there is by (means of) multiple evolutions

- we don’t mean multiple evolutions, that the man finds himself in one world and the descent is in another world, rather the man is “The first in the work of creation and the last in the work of creation” therefore by him himself there can exist “multiple evolution”-

It can come descend, up until lower matters.

But when there is the general nullification, he knows that he needs to circumcise himself, he knows that as he is, is not appropriate, and he needs to become different, this is a preparation for coming to the higher levels, it should be (that) “G-d revealed Himself to him” (in a manner), as to Abraham our father after the commandment of circumcision, and he becomes “Abraham” with an added “Hay” (in his name); he becomes a master over all his senses, even over those (senses) that (according to) nature one cannot (normally) rule over them.

Even more: He becomes a master over his portion in the world. Just as we had said in the (Chassidic) Discourse regarding Tzadikim, that through this that they cause a purification within themselves, they affect also a purification in their portion in the world.

Similarly, through this that he becomes a master over his senses he becomes also a master over his portion in the world, over everything that he needs to (be able to) serve G-d, both in children and in life and (also) in sustenance, and all this should be in -plenty.




Every year the on his birthday Shalom Dov Ber (who would become the fifth leader of the Chabad Chassidim) would go to his grandfather the Tzemach Tzedek (Rebbe Menachem Mendel the third Rebbe of Chabad) for a formal birthday blessing.

On his fourth or fifth birthday, he entered his grandfather's room weeping and when his grandfather asked him why he replied, "I just learned that G-d appeared to the Patriarch Avraham…... Why doesn't G-d appear to me?"  His grandfather answered,

"When a Jew (a Tzadik) that has served G-d for ninety-nine years makes a decision to circumcise himself (i.e. start from the beginning) he is worthy of the revelation of G-d."

Shalom Dov Ber was satisfied and stopped crying. Because this story has come to us, especially because it occurred to two great leaders and all-inclusive souls of the Jewish people; it must contain an important message for each of us. In fact, it contains two.

From the child Shalom Ber's question we can learn that every Jew, no matter how young or undeserving he considers himself to be, can and must demand a revelation of G-d for Himself. Even one who is a 'child' in maturity or in Judaism (the previous Rebbe often said that one's age is not necessary the date written in his passport) etc. And he must demand the revelation of the highest sort; namely as it was to Avraham AFTER he circumcised himself and had his name changed from AvRam.

The midrash informs us that after Abraham had the letter "Hay" added to his name he was granted from G-d total control over five (the numerical equivalent of "Hay), normally uncontrollable, organs of his body; his eyes, ears, organ of procreation etc. And this new control was a gift from G-d… totally beyond Abraham's natural abilities. So each and every one of us, even the 'lowest' of us, must and should also ask G-d for a similar miracle; to change our nature so that we can deserve and appreciate revelations just like those that Abraham received; totally beyond his normal abilities.

The second lesson is from the Tzemach Tzedek's reply; 'When a Jew (a Tzadik) of ninety-nine years makes a decision to circumcise himself etc." Namely, although every Jew, even the lowest, can demand to see G-d, but nevertheless every Jew, even the 'highest' (both potentially and actually) must make serious changes and preparations for this revelation; i.e. be willing to 'circumcise' himself. Indeed, potentially every Jew is as 'high' as Avraham and every Jew without exception can and must say to himself, 'When will my deeds be like those of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov'. Not just the deeds of Avraham as he was when he began to recognize G-d but as he was together with Yitzchak and Yaakov. Not only must they 'circumcise themselves' but even more. Even Jews that ACTUALLY have control over all their senses (such as the fifth Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber who once 'turned off' the hearing in one of his ears so as not to be disturbed by a certain noise, and so with other Tzadikim through the generations) must also 'circumcise' themselves constantly in order to receive higher awareness of the Creator.

 Because even a thin 'foreskin' i.e. a feeling of egotism, can evolve into even the lowest crassness if not removed.

This is what the Tzemach Tzedek meant when he told his grandson that 'when a ninety-nine year-old Tzadik is willing to circumcise himself'

At the age of one hundred the Mishna in Pirkei Avot tells us a person is "…as though dead and finished with the world". The Mishna is giving us a positive message here.

According to Kabbala there are ten aspects of the soul, each consisting of ten facets. So the TOTAL soul has one hundred facets and One hundred years old refers to one who has totally 'purified' all of them.

But ninety-nine is one who is just 'one' short from perfection! And the Tzemach Tzedek was telling us that even such a person, despite his purity, must be willing to 'circumcise' himself.

And when one makes such a decision it enables him to not just refrain from falling to the lowest levels (which is, G-d forbid, certainly possible for each of us seeing as man has potential to be both the 'highest' and 'first' of creation or the opposite) but to reach the highest levels and receive the highest revelations. To the point of being in total control over our senses and feelings as was Avraham after receiving the additional letter to his name.

And even more, one becomes in control and a positive influence on not just himself but on the world around him to the point that he will receive everything necessary to serve G-d: Children, money and health, in the most generous and bountiful manner. All in order to purify the entire world with the arrival of Moshiach NOW! =====


Avraham's Heritage of Kindness
"Vayeira Chof (20th) Marcheshvan, 5740
" 15th Day of MarCheshvan, 5751
Keeping In Touch - Volume 2
Children's Corner
Vayeira 5752

http://rabbidubov.org/?p=738 (audio)

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