The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Ninth of Kislev in Thought

Pictures from my trip to Niezhin last year.

The well in Niezhin

The Ohel of the Mittler Rebbe

Inside the Ohel.

The Torah teaches us that Shabbos is not just the end of the week, but summation and culmination of the week’s specific avodah -divine service.

This week then, Parshas Vayeitzei, must in some shape or form hint to the Ninth of Kislev, the Yahrtzeit (and Birthday) of the Mitteler Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch, which falls out this week.

In discussing the passing of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai (who, like the Mitteler after him, departed when uttering the word “chaim” -life), a hint to his passing on Lag B’Omer (the 33 of the counting of the Omer) can be found in this weeks Torah portion. More so, this verse also hints to the summation of Rebbe Shimon’s Avodah in this world.

When relating the climatic parting of Ya’akov with his father-in-law, Lavan, we are told that they set up a Gal -a pile of stones- to separate between them.

This Gal possessed the dual purpose of being a mark of division and of unity. On one hand it served as a separation between Ya’akov and Lavan –as the Torah relates:

“This pile is a witness, and this monument is a witness, that I will not pass this pile [to go] to you and that you shall not pass this pile and this monument to [come to] me to [do] harm”

Yet at the same time, had Ya’akov and Lavan’s intent been purely for the purpose of separation, they would have built a far greater divider –a wall.

By building a gal, a mere pile of stones, they wished to accomplish another task as well -as Rashi notes on the above verse:

“To do harm you may not pass, but you may pass to do business.”

That in truth, for positive purposes, such a business and the like, the Gal was not to serve as a separation at all.

How does this connect to Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai? Besides the obvious hint in the word gal, which is in essence the ‘word’ Lag (the date of Rebbe Shimon’s passing) backwards, we see a far greater connection.

As Rebbe Shimon approached the end of his mission on this world, he made great effort to reveal the deepest aspects of the Torah, Kabbalah, to his students.

There are those who may ask however, true these secrets of Torah, the esoteric wisdom of G-d, are of great value and knowledge; but if they truly are the ‘secrets’ of Torah, what right did Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai have to disclose them? They ought to have been passed down from teacher to student in the utmost secrecy, not made public!

On this the Torah tells us, that the gal –the stone divider- of this week’s parsha is not a true barrier. It is only a barrier to hold back evil, but for good, just the opposite, it is no obstacle what so ever.

When Moshiach comes, and the earth is freed from the grasp of evil, the esoteric wisdom of G-d will reign supreme; it will permeate every facet of our existence. Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai, whose soul was on the level of Moshiach’s times, knew that his mission in this world was to act as a harbinger of these divine secrets –to make them public as a foretaste of the revelations yet to come. As the generations approached the Messianic Era, he knew that they were now worthy of receiving such secrets; that there was no longer a need to conceal them for fear of negative consequences. Even more so, this knowledge would prove essential for the continuation of the Jewish People in a later age.

This then ties in the connection between the Mitteler Rebbe and Rebbe Shimon, as well as the connection between the Mitteler Rebbe’s Yahrtzeit and the weekly Torah portion. Like Rebbe Shimon before him, the Mitteler Rebbe had the task of leading the Jewish people towards the coming of Moshiach. He needed to disseminate and promulgate the esoteric teachings of Chassidus even further amongst his nation in a matter unprecedented by his forebears, even by his saintly father, the founder of the Chabad movement, the Alter Rebbe.

The Mitteler Rebbe’s discourses are therefore not only profound, but lengthy, literally bringing out the concept so that even the minutiae are fully conceived ideas. By expanding upon the seminal thoughts of his father, the Mitteler Rebbe took Chassidus to the outer limits of the universe, and to the outer limits of the human mind.

In Kabbalistic terms, the Alter Rebbe was Chochma, the epiphany –the flash of sudden undeveloped insight, and the Mitteler Rebbe was Bina -the extrapolation and development of the thought.

May it be G-d’s will, that through the learning of these secrets, we merit to the time when there will be no more secrets –when we will approach G-d’s infinite understanding that is beyond all secrets, as it says:

“And the whole earth will know G-d, like water which covers the face of the sea.”

Based on Likutei Sichos Vol. 5

Written in the merit of the temimim
Refoel Yehoshua Noson ben Blooma Esther
Yosef Simcha halevi ben Esther
May the both have speedy and complete recoveries.

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mk said...

Do you have a better picture of inside the Ohel? if yes then if you could, please put it up...

Mottel said...

I have a better picture on CD, but I don't have access to it right now.
You can look on COL for a picture inside.