Vol 16.05 - Shmot - Chof-Dalet Tevet    Spanish French Audio  Video

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The hint in Parshat Shemot to the deeds and teachings of the Alter Rebbe (The revelation of Torat Chassidut Chabad). The connection between the harsh servitude of Bnei Yisroel to the topic of the aspect of a "name" (5736)


1.The  Tzemach Tzedek writes concerning the passing of the Alter Rebbe (after briefly writing of the travels that the Alter Rebbe took) – his fleeing from the “French” – until his arrival to the (village) of Piena) “Erev Shabbat Vayishlach 5673”) that:

 “On Motzai Shabbat of Shmot 23rd , the eve of the 24th of Tevet around 11:30 pm (December 27, 1812), the holy ark of the luminary of Yisroel, the anointed of Galut-d, was returned (נשבה ארון הקדש מאור ישראל משיח ה׳ וכו׳).

It is known that all the festivals of the year (and one could say that this also applies to the days of the Tzaddikim - therefore also the birthdays and Hilulah’s of the Tzaddik, etc.) have a connection to the subject of the Parsha in Torah that is read then.

Similarly, it is also understood from the Torah saying of the Baal Hillula, from the Alter Rebbe, that “one must live with the time” - with the weekly Parsha.

In our case:

Even though the passing of the Alter Rebbe was “the eve of the 24th of Tevet” which occurred on the first day of Parshat Va’eira - nevertheless since the  Tzemach Tzedek did not suffice with recording just the date of “the eve of the 24th of Tevet”

 (and even not with omitting the day of the week- “Motzai Shabbat”)

but rather added that it was “Motzai Shabbat of Shmot

(and even more so: he also adds that Shabbat Kodesh of Shmot was on the “23rd (of Tevet)”)

 – it is understood that that the passing also (and mainly) has a connection to Parshat Shmot.

And especially since the precise time of the passing was (as the Tzemach Tzedek writes) “around 11:30 pm”. For according to many laws and aspects, as is known, the time is before midnight on Motzai Shabbat has a connection to that Shabbat. It is therefore another indication of the connection of the passing, specifically to Parshat Shmot.

2. The subject of Parshat Shmot is – Galut and the servitude in Egypt;

The Parshiot before Parshat Shmot – Vayigash and Vayechi - speak of the time before the servitude in Egypt (even though the descent to Egypt had already occurred). And as the Sages say: ”As long as one of them who descended to Egypt lived etc., the Egypt did not enslave Yisroel”.

On the other hand – the Parshiot that are after Parshat Shmot – Parshat Va’eira and Bo - while also speaking about the era of servitude of the Jews in Egypt, nevertheless already depict, from Parshat Va’eira the signs of the beginning of the Geulah: The signs and wonders which G-d showed and the plagues which He brought of the Egypt.

Also the servitude itself was lighter. And even more so, the Sages state that “On Rosh Hashanah the servitude of our forefathers ceased in Egypt” and how much more so was this in Parshat Bo where it speaks of the actual Galut.

 However n Parshat Shmot - the subject of the entire Parsha concerns the severity and hardship of the servitude so much so that it tells at the end of the Parshat that Pharaoh decreed that "You shall no longer give the people straw . . Make the workload heavier on the men”. So much so that even Moshe Rabbeinu complained to G-d: ”Ever since I came to Pharaoh . . he has done harm to this people”.

With this we can explain possibly the connection between the passing of the Alter Rebbe to Parshat Shmot:

As explained above, the passing of the Alter Rebbe occurred when he was in exile, as the Tzemach Tzedek writes that: “they fled from the “French” and journeyed until they came to Piena etc.” And all the specifics of these journeys and tribulations were also written by the Mitterler Rebbe in a letter.

3. It is known what the Baal Hillula writes concerning the aspects of a Hilulah and passing, that then: “All his deeds and Torah learning and Avodah that he accomplished all his life” ascend Above. And this becomes: “revealed and illuminates in a level of revelation from Above to this world at the time of one’s passing”.

Since every occurrence is with Divine Providence, and this certainly applies to a thing that occurred with a Tzaddik and leader of the generation (Nasi HaDor) – it is therefore understood that the Alter Rebbe’s passing whilst in exile is a lesson on the connection and innermost relation between the “deeds and Torah learning and Avodah” of the Baal Hilulah

(Which “ascend” and “reveal and enlighten” at the time of passing)

with the virtue of Avodah during the time of Galut (from which it also “manifested” (״נשתלשל״) in physicality – that his passing was in actual exile).

One could say that this is also the reason why the last Chag HaGeulah of Yud-Tes Kislev that the Alter Rebbe celebrated while alive in this world, was is the exile-location where he passed away (for as aforementioned (the words of the  Tzemach Tzedek) – his “coming to Piena” was “Erev Shabbat Vayishlach” which was before Yud-Tes Kislev.

For since Yud-Tes Kislev, the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidut” is the central point of the “deeds and Torah learning and Avodah” of the Baal Hillula – which has a connection with the virtue of Avodah in the time of Galut, as aforementioned - therefore his last Yid-Tes Kislev (which means the highest level of that lofty day in the course of his life in this world, since “every year there descends and enlightens . . a new and renewed light which heretofore illuminated in the world”) was in Galut.

And moreover – in the same Galut –place where his passing occurred – since then al his “deeds and Torah learning and Avodah” stood at the epitome of completeness, as aforementioned.

This can be understood after explaining the aforementioned aspect that the subject of Parshat Shmot is – Galut and the servitude of Egypt.

It has been mentioned may times that the name of the Parshat carries within it the portent of the entire Parsha.

It is not understood in our case:

The word “Shmot” appears, seemingly to indicate the opposite of the aspect of Galut Mitzrayim – because:

1.       The Sages state (as previously mentioned) that: ”As long as one of them (who descended to Egypt) lived etc., the Egypt did not enslave Yisroel” . Therefore it follows that the aspect of “The names of Bnei Yisroel that came to Egypt” did not allow the servitude of Egypt.


2.       Even the different import of the word “Shmot” (which emphasizes that Galut-d re-counted “with their names”, was – as Rashi states: ”to show how dear they are” which is the opposite of exile and the hardship of the servitude of the Jews (which is spoken of in the Parshat).


3.       These names are actually , as the Sages state “mentioned here because of the Geulah of Yisroel”

5. The explanation is:

It is known that the advantage in the Avodah in the time of Galut consists therein in that specifically then the power of Mesirat Nefesh of a Jew is revealed, whose source is from the level of Yechidah of the Nefesh, the essence of the soul. For the level of Yechidah of the Nefesh, the essence of the soul manifests itself (mainly) there (and in that condition) where there lacks the conception and feeling of G-dliness that arises from the revealed powers of the soul. And the connection with G-dliness is then not through the revealed powers, but rather from the essence of the Jew.

Therefore, during the time that the Beit HaMikdash stood and G-dliness illuminated openly , the (main) Avodah of Yidden was also with the revealed powers – they perceived G-dliness in the innermost and revealed powers of intellect and Middot. And since this is an Avodah according to reason and comprehension and feeling – therefore the power of Yechidah was not felt in the Avodah.

Specifically in the time of Galut, when the G-dly light is cloaked and hidden – when “We have not seen our signs; there is no longer a prophet, and no one with us knows how long.” And there is concealment and hiddenness and tribulations on the Avodah of Torah and Mitzvot - specifically then, when (and because) the workings of the revealed powers of the soul are lacking – the power of Yechidah of the soul is awakened – to strengthen itself for the hardship and tribulations in keeping Torah and Mitzvot due to the essential connection of the Yidden to G-d.

And this was the aspect of Galut Mitzrayim (and Galut in general). For specifically trough this, the essential attachment of the Yidden to Galut-d came to be expressed. And this was the preparation to Matan Torah. For the purpose of Matan Torah was also to draw down G-dliness into physical things which are the “lower worlds”/“Tachtonim” and through Torah and Mitzvot transform them to also be an abode for G-d. For specifically in this expressed the essence of Torah.

6. The above mentioned explanation of the virtue of Avodah in the time of Galut - that even though G-dly light does not visibly illuminate, yet nevertheless the essence of the soul is revealed then – is alluded to in the aspect of “Shmot”.

There are two sides to the relation between a name and the person who holds that name:

·         On one side, we see that the holder of the name, for his own accord, is not at all, in need of the name. The name is used only as a means for a second person to call him. This means that that the name is, seemingly, just an external thing in relation to the person himself. Therefore from a name alone, one cannot grasp the essence of the person who is called by that name. The proof is that there are many people who have the same name, yet have, at the same time, completely different natures, from one extreme to the other (for the name does not depict the essence of the person. This is contrary to light where the Illuminator is depicted, and where one can discern in the existence of the light an understanding of the Illuminator (ma’or).

·         On the other hand, however, it is known that the name of a person has a relation to the essence of the person – in the manner that he is above his revealed powers. The proof is that when we call a person by his name, the person turns and moves (toward the sound) “with his entire essence”. Moreover, if a person faints, G-d forbid, which means that the vitality of his soul is in a state of concealment and is divested from revelation in the body – the person is revived by calling him by his name. This shows that the name has a connection and evokes the essential vitality of the soul. Therefore it has the power to draw vitality back into the powers of the body


(And in this there is an advantage of “name” versus that of “light” – for although one can discern the essence the illuminator from light, nevertheless light does not draw down the essence of the illuminator)

This means that the essence of a person specifically resides in a place where one cannot see the revealed relation to the person, as was mentioned above regarding the advantage of Avodah in the time of Galut, that the essence of a Jew becomes revealed, specifically in the concealment and hiddenness from Galut.

7. According to all of the above, one can understand the connection between the “deeds and Torah learning and Avodah” of the Baal Hillula with Parshat Shmot - the aspect of Galut:

It is known that just as there is a level of “Yechidah” in the soul, there is also a level of “Yechidah” in Torah - namely Torat haChassidut.

And the primary revelation of the level of “Yechidah” of Torah is in Chassidut Chabad – in which the Baal Hillula revealed and drew down Torat haChassidut into understanding and comprehension so that one could influence his Animal soul (Nefesh HaBahamit) in his environs - so much so that he can transform his being from one extreme to the other. For the essence of Pnimiyut of Torah resides specifically in this.

This means that, just as explained above, regarding a person that the revelation of Yechidah, the essence of the soul, is specifically when the revealed powers are in a state of concealment and hiddenness, so too is the case in the level of Yechidah of Torah – that it becomes revealed specifically when it is must be enclothed in the lowest level of the Nefesh HaBahamit and one’s portion in the world. This is in consonance with the saying of the Baal Hillula: “The entire aspect of Chassidut is to change the nature of one’s Middot”.

And this is the connecting point between “his deeds and Torah learning and Avodah” of the Baal Hillula with the advantage of Avodah in the time of Galut:

In both of them, the revelation of the level of Yechidah is specifically revealed in a place which is devoid of the revelation of light.

8. It is known that this level and Avodah of the Baal Hillula is alluded to in his name – Shneur Zalman. Shne”ur is from the words “Shnei Or” (double light) and Zal”man is the letters “Lizman” (time) - and both names together represent the connection of “Shnei Or” with “time”.

The explanation is:

“Shnei Or” means

(as the Baal Shem Tov said about the Alter Rebbe that he would enlighten the world with)

 the two lights – the light of Exoteric Torah (niglah) and the light of Esoteric Torah (Pnimiyut).

And the innovation of “Shnei Or” (in one word) is that the completeness of the connection between Niglah and Nistar was manifest in the Alter Rebbe so much so that they were actually one.

The power to do this came from that which he drew down and revealed the essential essence of Torah, Yechidah of Torah, which s higher than all the boundaries of concealment and revelation. Therefore it has the power to unite the two lights of Niglah and Nistar of Torah.

And this was drawn down into “lizman” (time) which is connected with the “worldT1 ” (olam) – (which is also the letters of the word “concealment” (he’elem)).

This means that the “Shnei Or” - the connection of the two lights - should illuminate, even in this lowly world. And specifically then comes the revelation of the level of Yechidah of Torah (as aforementioned, that the revelation of the level of Yechidah is specifically in the lowest level – in a place which is not a receptacle for “revelations”).

9. As has been mentioned many times, the main intent is that also the aspects which are above Hishtalshelut and from the person’s abilities, should come into revelation and in an innermost form also in a person’s powers – not just in a concealed manner like in the time of Galut.

For even though there is an advantage to Avodah in the tome of Galut, where at that time the level of Yechidah of the soul is awakened and revealed (as above). Nevertheless the purpose of Galut – is Geulah which comes afterwards (and because of it).

This means that the revelation of the level of Yechidah of the time of Galut should illuminate also in one’s innermost powers that they should also be permeated from the essence of the soul.

And one could possibly say that this is the innovation of the Baal Hillula in Torat Chassidut Chabad – that the essence of Pnimiyut HaTorah which is higher than Hishtalshelut and from reason and understanding and which, seemingly, can only be received by being imbued (b’kabbalah) and by faith, should also come down into Niglah and understanding in the “Chabad” of the soul of the person. And this should have an effect on his Middot that he should be awakened with love and fear.

And this is alluded to in that which the passing was on Motzai Shabbat Kodesh, the eve of the first day of Parshat Va’eira

 (However “Va’eira “is not stated outright)

where it already begins speaking of the revelation of “I am the L-rd” the level of the Essence of G-d which until then had not come into revelation. (“I was not recognized by them by My attribute of keeping trust”) and “Va’eira” alone is from the word “to see” (ree’ah”) and revelation. This means that the level and status which is higher than Hishtalshelut shlould come into realization (ree’ah”) and revelation in an innermost manner.

m’Sichas and Maamer Shabbat Parshat Shmot 5726







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