"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Monday, October 31, 2011

Modeh Ani: Essence facing Essence

Modeh Ani: Essence facing Essence

Rabbi Y. Oliver

The very first thing that a Jew does in the day is to recite Modeh ani:I gratefully thank You, living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me with compassion—abundant is Your faithfulness!

Although the word modeh can mean to thank, it can also mean to acknowledge. When a Jew declares Modeh ani, he says: “Hashem, I acknowledge You!”

At first glance, this acknowledgment lacks any depth. After all, the Jew has only just woken up; he’s still shaking the sleep out of his eyes and coming to his wits; he has not yet had the chance to reflect, understand, feel, and internalize anything at all. When a Jew recites Modeh ani, his lack of development and comprehension is akin to that of a newborn child.

This begs the question: Of what value is an acknowledgment when submitted in such a lowly state?

However, Chassidus explains that the opposite is the case: Because it does not involve intellectual comprehension, in a sense, Modeh ani is the highest prayer of all.

There are two levels to the Jew’s soul: its essence, and its manifestations. Corresponding to this, there are two levels of acknowledgment of Hashem: One that stems from the soul’s very essence, and another that stems from its manifestations.

There is a principle in Chassidus that “the manifestations hide the essence.” When you see the superficial aspect of a thing, you lose sight of its very core. For example, when reading words on a page—the “manifestations”—one can come to forget that one is actually staring at ink—the “essence.”

Likewise, as soon as the Jew has reached a certain level of understanding, he can no longer submit to Hashem (at least, not on a conscious level) from the very essence of his soul; his submission must stem from his understanding. He does not submit naturally, because of the essential bond between a Jew and Hashem’s very Essence. Rather, he submits because he understands that he should. He understands Hashem to a certain degree, and yet he also understands that certain things are beyond his comprehension, and so he acknowledges them.

This is the difference between the acknowledgement of Modeh ani and of Hodu laHavayeh, which is the start of Shacharis, the morning prayer.

In Modeh ani, the essence of the soul, “ani,” submits “lefonecho,” “before You”—before Hashem’s very Essence. Because the Jew doesn’t understand anything, his mind and heart do not “get in the way” of the revelation of the soul’s essence. And since the soul’s very essence is manifest, as it were, it connects the Jew with Hashem’s very essence.

In contrast, at the beginning of Shacharis, we recite, “Acknowledge Havayeh, and call out in His name.” “His name” refers to the level of G–dliness that enters nature (which stems from the divine names of Ad-nai and Elokim). So we need to “call,” i.e. summon down into our world this level of G–dliness, so that it can constantly create the world. In contrast, with respect to Havayeh, a level that transcends time and space and is therefore completely beyond us, we must simply acknowledge and accept without understanding.

Yet although one acknowledges, since his acknowledgement actually stems from his understanding—his understanding of the limits of his intellect—it does not permeate his entire being, and thus it only connects him with levels that transcend intellect, but not with Hashem’s very Essence, as when one recites Modeh ani.

Based on the Rebbe's Sefer HaMa’amarim 5714-5716, pp. 337-338

This post was dedicated by Reb Yisroel Meir Rafael and family.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music: The greatest heights, or the lowest depths

The Alter Rebbe explains[1] the Talmudic phrase, “All those who sing go out in song”[2] as referring to the song of the angels. Likewise, the Jewish souls in Gan Eden also sing to Hashem.

From what do the angels and souls “go out” through song? The Alter Rebbe quotes the Maggid,[3] who explains that through song the angels and souls transcend their limitations (albeit exceedingly refined limitations, for they are altogether spiritual entities).

Likewise, although Hashem set up a world of limitation, song has a tremendous power in the service of Hashem; it can elevate the person with such an intense love of Hashem that he rises completely above the limitations of the Bestial Soul and the world in general. This was the reason that the Levites sang melodies in the Beis HaMikdash while the Kohanim were offering the sacrifices.

And since “The prayers come in place of the sacrifices,”[4] in prayer one should also strive to rise above all limitations, until one transcends the limitations of the body entirely, with the soul almost expiring in an overwhelming love for Hashem. (This also explains why it is praiseworthy, when practical, to incorporate song into one’s prayers.)

This expresses the awesome power of music when used as Hashem intended—to bring one to the most sublime levels of divine service.

Unfortunately, in order to enable us to have free choice, until Moshiach redeems us (may it happen today!), “Hashem created this one opposite this one”[5]—every force that exists in holiness must have a parallel force in unholiness.

So just as holy Jewish music has the power to raise one to the greatest heights of love of Hashem, so can unholy, non-Jewish music, degrade the Jew to the depths of evil, may G–d save us. It too casts away limitations, but in the opposite way.

The verse states, “Man is born a wild donkey.”[6] Chassidus explains this to mean that we are born with a Bestial Soul that possesses intense, untamed, and self-destructive character traits. By serving Hashem through prayer, Torah study, and observance of the Mitzvos, one weeds out the negative character traits and harnesses the raw energy of the Bestial Soul to the service of the Divine Soul, as it is written, “With the strength of an ox,” the Bestial Soul, “there is much grain,”[7] constructive benefit for the Divine Soul.

However, listening to goyisheh (non-Jewish) music elicits a desire for perikas ol, a desire to cast off all these constructive “limitations.” This music excites and strengthens the Bestial Soul in a very unhealthy way, causing the Divine Soul to become hidden. All the hard work that one did to live with self-control and establish boundaries is thereby undone. One’s negative character traits resurface with even more intensity, and the raw energy of the Bestial Soul is directed to behaviors that are both spiritually and physically harmful, may G–d save us.

All this would be true of goyisheh music even if it had no words; all the more so, considering that in modern times, the lyrics of this music often communicate immodest and heretical messages.

Based on Sefer HaMa’amarim Basi LeGani, Vol. 2, p. 54 ff.

[1] Likkutei Torah, Pinchas 77c.
[2] Shabbos 51b.
[3] Likkutei Torah, Berachah 98a. Cf. Sefer HaSichos 5703 p. 111 ff.
[4] Berachos 26a-b.
[5] Koheles 7:14.
[6] Iyov 11:12.
[7] Mishlei 14:4.

This post was dedicated by Reb Kasriel ben Yehudis and Chana Feigeh bas Reizl (my parents, tzu langeh, gezunteh, zisseh yoren).

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Shalit Deal--Disgraceful and Deadly

The Shalit Deal—Disgraceful and Deadly

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

This is not the normal kind of topic that I write about on my blog, but this time I’m making an exception.

The Israeli government has declared that in a short while it will exchange Gilad Shalit for over a thousand convicted terrorists serving life sentences. Now, saving a captive is one of the greatest Mitzvos in the Torah, but not when done in this way. With all due respect to Gilad’s family and various other well-meaning supporters, this “deal” is evil and obscene:

1. High risk of re-offense, G–d forbid: Letting loose terrorists with blood on their hands endangers Jews who would, G–d forbid, be their next target. This has happened before countless times, and not even the most ardent advocate of this deal doubts will happen again this time. In fact, according to this article, sixty percent of freed terrorists re-offend. Now, this objection would stand even if only one terrorist were to be released; all the more so in this case, when over a thousand are to be released. These excuses for human beings running amok in society is tantamount to hundreds of stabbings, sniping attacks, or suicide bombings waiting to happen, G–d forbid. Once these attacks begin, G–d forbid, I wonder what the pro-deal camp will say, or how Gilad and his family will manage to live with themselves.

2. Rewarding terror emboldens the enemy: When you surrender to terrorists in any way, you show them through your actions that their acts of cold-blooded mass murder pay off. In this case, the Israeli government should have treated this capture as an open act of war and gone on the offensive by occupying the entire Gaza, executing terrorist prisoners, cutting off Gaza’s electricity, taking prominent Arab leaders captive, and so on, until Gilad was released. Instead, the Jews have shown the terrorists that Jews are weak and cowardly, and that abduction is a highly effective method for the enemy to achieve its goals. So now that the the enemy sees that the Jews have capitulated, they know to continue such acts again, and again, and again, G–d forbid, thereby manipulating the Jews in power to cede to their every demand. So this tremendous emboldening of the enemy makes the Jews in the Holy Land in general much more at risk of being captured, G–d forbid.

3. Strikes fear into Jews: Terror means more than cowardly killing people in cold blood. Terror is a strategy and philosophy that advocates using violence to drive terror, i.e., fear, into the hearts of the target population, in order to bring them to capitulate to the terrorists’ demands. So when those in leadership play right into the terrorists’ hands by acting out of fear and a sense of powerlessness, these leaders in effect promote fear among the Jews they were charged with bravely leading and protecting. In the case of this deal, these released murderers will go on to become community icons, bragging to their Arab brethren about their “courageous feats,” inciting others to do likewise, and continuing such activities with even greater zeal, may G–d save us. This increased danger and sense of vulnerability creates an atmosphere of low morale and fear among the general Jewish populace, military and civilian.

3. Destruction of deterrent power: Even once terrorists are in prison, they will know (as they have after past deals, and all the more so now) that it’s only a matter of time until their cohorts capture someone else and use that captive as a bargaining chip; this knowledge encourages them to commit terror, secure that not only will they not be put to death when caught (which is what we should do—see point #9 below), but they may only have to sit a few years (indeed, many of them boasted just that when they were first imprisoned, and to our disgrace, their arrogant words proved correct).

4. Affront to families of victims: What about the many hundreds of grieving families of the victims of these prisoners? They were assured that their slain relatives’ murderers would never see the light of day. How will they feel now, knowing that not only were their loved ones not brought to true justice by being executed, but they are being set free? Why don’t these families at least have a say in these deals? And why were most of them not even politely informed of the court’s decision?

5. Violation of Jewish law: Jewish law unequivocally forbids any deal of this kind, according to the principle of the Gemara[1] that Pikuach Nefesh, saving a life, does not override the prohibition against killing another Jew. Here is not the context to discuss this topic on a more technical level, but Jewish law explicitly prohibits a ransom of this kind.[2]

6. Warped morality: The Midrash warns: “Whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.”[3] True, every Jew is priceless: “Whoever saves a Jewish life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”[4] And yet the thought to release hundreds of vicious murderers for the sake of saving one Jew is warped morality; it is misplaced kindness and compassion that stems from Kelipah, the forces of impurity (see here and here). This is why Hashem gave us the Torah, which is called “a Torah of light,”[5] for it illuminates our way in this dark world, “a world of falsehood.”[6] In this context, Torah would have been vital for the Jews striving to free Gilad to approach the matter with moral clarity. Yes, they may have meant well, but without Torah as their anchor, they were bound to sink into a bottomless pit of moral confusion, doing harm when they sought so sincerely to do good. May they come to realize the foolishness of abandoning timeless divine morality in favor of their own highly limited intellects.

7. Farce of the justice system: How is it that unrepentant mass murderers are let loose en masse, but criminals convicted of crimes incomparably less severe must do their time? And this complaint applies all the more with regard to Jews in prison for actions that were perhaps misguided, but were reactions to attacks, motivated out of a worthy desire to protect Jews, such as those imprisoned for throwing rocks back at Arab youth who were throwing rocks at them, and the like.

8. Disgrace before the world community: Jews should be setting an example of proper behavior for all mankind—being a “light unto the nations.”[7] In the case of this deal, they have failed miserably. I cannot imagine any other country negotiating such a disgraceful deal. Look at how America went and occupied Afghanistan as soon as it viewed it as a terrorist threat, and later on, Iraq. The world respects those who respect themselves. Such craven concessions as these lead the nations to look down on Jews in general, and greatly weakens the case of the Jewish people to live in their G–d-given Land.

9. No mercy on mass murderers! Lastly, I can only reiterate the Rebbe’s words[8] warning the Israeli government to execute terrorists. a. This is this the punishment that these scum more than deserve; b. it deters further acts of terror; c. most importantly, it protects, or at least significantly decreases, the likelihood of Jews being abducted, because if there are no convicted murderers being held, there is no one to exchange (not that there will not be Arab criminals in prisons in the Holy Land, but their crimes will not be related to terror, and so there will be less of a desire on the part of the terror groups to free their comrades).[9]

Based in part on the Rebbe’s public talk of Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar, 5739.

[1] Sanhedrin 37a.
[2] See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 252:4.
[3] Yalkut Shimoni, Shmuel I, 221.
[4] Sanhedrin 37a.
[5] Mishlei 6:23.
[6] Zohar 1:192b.
[7] Yeshayah 42:6.
[9] Here is an article about a rabbi who has spoken out in favor of this approach.

ETA: Thank G–d, Gilad Shalit has returned to the Holy Land! We are overjoyed for him and his family, and we wish them all the best; however, we continue to object to the means by which this was done, and express our concern for the long-term repercussions of this release.

See a similar article here.

This post was dedicated by Reb Yisroel Meir Rafael and family.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sukkah: Unity through transcending all divisions

Unlike the Mitzvah of the Four Kinds, which creates a complementary unity from individuality and multiplicity (as discussed here), the Mitzvah of Sukkah fosters an almost opposite type of unity. This unity involves reaching to a level of G–dliness so sublime that it utterly transcends all distinctions between one Jew and another.

In Chassidic parlance such a level is known as an
Ohr Makif, an “encompassing light,” one that impacts upon the recipients and yet does not differentiate between the various levels they are on. This is comparable to a king’s edict, which is just as binding upon the greatest minister and the simplest subject.

This level shines in the
Sukkah, and Jews unite at this level through the simple act of sitting in the Sukkah with one another.

This quality is reflected in the very dimensions of the
Sukkah, which does not touch the person sitting in it, but surrounds his head, body, and feet equally. This is indicative of the nature of the divine revelation in the Sukkah, which does not relate to the unique individuality of each Jew at all. Instead, it transcends these (important but ultimately) external qualities. Likewise, all Jews who sit in the Sukkah, both the great scholar and the small child, are physically surrounded in the same manner; this symbolizes the nature of the spiritual unity that they accomplish with one another by sitting in the Sukkah.

This fits nicely with one of the opinions recorded in the Talmud (ibid. 11b)—which is also the way Rashi explains it in his commentary on
Chumash (Vayikra 23:43)—which maintains that the Sukkah is symbolic of the Clouds of Glory (which accompanied the Jewish people on their journey through the desert), which encompassed the entire Jewish people equally. This is also the deeper meaning of the Talmudic dictum: “All Jews are fit to sit in one Sukkah” (Sukkah 27b)—alluding to the fact that in the Sukkah we connect with a level at which all Jews are literally equal.

Based on Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat, Vol. 4, p. 23, and ibid, Vol. 1, p. 166.

Dedicated by Menachem Shakulov in the merit of Menachem Mendel ben Sarah, and by Guillermo Eduardo Chinchilla Zúñiga as a merit for Kevin Esteban Chinchilla Montero.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The four kinds: Individuality, complementarity, and unity

The Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30:12) teaches that the four kinds that we “shake” on Sukkos are symbolic of the four different types of Jews, taste representing Torah knowledge and a pleasant aroma representing good deeds:
  • Esrog (unusual citrus fruit): has taste and a pleasant aroma, and thus represents those who are both accomplished Torah scholars and doers of good deeds;
  • Lulav (a frond from a palm tree): has tasty dates, but no aroma, representing dedicated Torah scholars;
  • Haddasim (myrtle branches): only has a pleasant aroma, representing those who excel in good deeds but not in Torah study;
  • Arovos (willow branches): have neither taste nor fragrance, which represents the simple Jews who, though lacking distinction through Torah scholarship or good deeds, serve Hashem with simple faith.
(It should be noted that everyone should (and is obligated to!) study Torah, but only some can be said to excel in Torah study. Similarly, everyone should engage in good deeds, but only some are meant to do so in an exceptional manner.)

After explaining this teaching to a beginner, he commented: “So we should all become

I responded that according to my understanding, this is incorrect. Although the combination of Torah study and good deeds is clearly a special quality, it may also have a drawback. Those Jews who lack excellence in Torah knowledge but are dedicated to helping others typically (but not always) excel in their good deeds more than those who engage in both Torah study and good deeds. The same goes for dedicated Torah scholars who do not engage in good deeds vis-a-vis those who do not. Likewise, as mentioned, those who lack other qualities but serve
Hashem with simple faith excel in the purity of their faith. Thus, each Jew should excel in the area/s in which s/he is gifted.

The Midrash says that the act of bringing together the four kinds represents creating unity between the four different types of Jews.

Most of the time we have little difficulty realizing our own talents and skills. However, recognizing and appreciating the good qualities of others, especially when their areas of excellence differ radically from one’s own, is not so easy. It requires the humility to understand that as great as one may (or may not!) be, one is only a part of the whole, a whole that is fundamentally lacking without the vital contributions of everyone. Even the
Esrog Jew needs to unite with the other kinds through recognizing their respective virtues, which in a sense he lacks (as explained).

When each person both maximizes his own individual potential, and recognizes that he is an integral part of a whole, then he can truly complement others, and together they can attain the special common goal that can only be reached through this process of uniting through complementing.

This post was dedicated by Dan Schechter and family as a merit for Moshe ben Yehuda.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

High Holiday fundraising drive

Dear Friend,

For the last three years I have maintained a website, www.a-farbrengen.blogspot.com. On it I have produced a consistent output of high-quality articles and essays on various topics related to the teachings and the lifestyle of Chassidus. I have also distributed these postings via a growing e-mail list to subscribers worldwide, and you have been one of my loyal readers.

Do you like what you read? The articles I write require a lot of time and effort—for research, writing, and reviewing.

A recent topic of interest on which I have focused my articles in recent months is the purpose of our lives in exile, the task of refining the sparks of holiness. With Hashems help, I hope to greatly develop this material, and compile it into a full-length book.

Some other recent articles of interest include:Other topics I hope to write about, with Hashems help, include: the nature of the different souls, the different levels of angels, the interaction between intellect and emotion and intellect and faith, the absolute unity of Hashem, the relevance of the higher spiritual worlds in our lives, the Chassidic perspective on music, the difference between love and fear of Hashem, and so on.

However, in order to continue this noble and holy work, I require significant financial assistance. Even once, with Hashem’s help, these writings are published in book form, the income from these books will be negligible when compared with the amount of money that I need to provide for my family.

Please make a donation in order to help support these efforts to publicize the teachings of Chassidus, which the Rebbe, quoting the famous words of Moshiach to the Baal Shem Tov, identified countless times as the main purpose of our generation, and the key to bringing Moshiach.

Assisting this endeavor also brings one tremendous personal blessings, as the Rebbe writes (in Letters of the Rebbe):
By helping publish a Torah text and disseminating it … motivating change, helping people find the proper path and resolve their problems ... the reward for this manifests in this world—with abundant material and spiritual good.

For just $36, please sponsor an article in honor of your loved one/s. I would suggest that you sponsor an article regularly in honor of your anniversary, in honor of the birthdays of your various family members, and in honor of the yohrtzeits of your departed loved ones. This donation can also be made lirefuah sheleimah, or in honor of a bris, wedding, or the like.

If you are able, please consider making a more substantial donation, to sponsor a series of articles, a full-length booklet, or even an entire book.

I will also add that if there is a specific subject in Chassidus that is close to your heart, and you would like to sponsor an article discussing that particular topic, I would be eager to do so.

Please click on the Donate image on the right-hand-side of my site in order to make a secure donation via PayPal. Or, to send me a check, please get in touch with me via email for my mailing information.

Thank you, and best wishes to be sealed for a good and sweet new year.
Moshiach now!

Yours sincerely,

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ridicule: The Ultimate Test

Ridicule: The Ultimate Test

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

Earlier, we explained that the Jewish people refine the sparks of holiness in their host countries through their tenacity in observing Torah and Mitzvos despite the physical suffering that they endure there. In most times and places of our exile, this was our main test—the test of physical suffering. 

However, there is another test of exile through which we refine the sparks of holiness, one that relates more to the divine service of recent generations, and especially for Jews living in the western world, which comprise the majority of the Jewish people. This is the test of the age known as ikvesa diMeshicha, the generations directly preceding the arrival of Moshiach.

During this period, belief in Hashem and adherence to the strict standards of Torah are widely regarded with disdain and dismissed with ridicule. In fact, our sages predicted this state of the world:[1]
The government will turn to heresy. ... The wisdom of scribes [Torah scholars] will decay, and those who dread sin will be despised.
Indeed, modern secular thought is permeated with an attitude of cynicism and apathy toward belief in Hashem and careful religious adherence, and one encounters this especially when one goes out into the workplace and comes into direct contact with the secular world. Unless one is careful, it is human nature for this ridicule, whether overt or hidden, to wear a person down and weaken his observance, until over time, he could come to abandon observance of Torah and Mitzvos altogether, G–d forbid.

The only way to overcome this pressure is by standing upright and proud and maintaining one’s observance of Torah and Mitzvos without compromise. This is the test of “Do not be embarrassed before the scoffers.”[2] 

If anything, the opposition should make one stronger, along the lines of the verse concerning the suffering of the Jewish people in Egypt: “And as they afflicted them, so did they increase, and so did they grow strong.”[3]

This fearlessness in the face of ridicule of one’s Torah observance is in fact required by Jewish law,[4] and considered so important that it is placed at the very beginning of the entire Code of Jewish Law—in the first volume (Orach Chaim), in the first section (siman), and in the very first subsection (se’if). Why is it is placed at the very beginning? For without this precondition, the Jew cannot consistently abide by Hashem’s law. For as soon as anyone says a derogatory word, e.g., by branding him as an “extremist” or a “fanatic,” he will become intimidated, and his observance will decline.

Although this character trait was always necessary (which is why it is included in Shulchan Aruch), in our times it is so crucial that it is the main test of our generation. Now that we face it, we should know that comparatively speaking, if anything this test is the most difficult of all, requiring mesiras nefesh, self-sacrifice, in a sense more than that required of those who suffered physical afflictions for the sake of their Torah observance.[5]

The intense difficulty of this challenge is evident from the Alter Rebbe’s interpretation of the verse (and I have translated it literally, to show how he interprets it): “The man Moshe was exceedingly humble from every man on the face of the earth.”[6] Moshe Rabeinu was shown a prophetic vision[7] of “every man on the face of the earth”—the generation of Ikvesa DiMeshicha. He foresaw how the Jewish people would be tested in general, and with ridicule of their observance in particular, and yet would cling to observance of Torah and Mitzvos regardless. When he saw this, he became “exceedingly humble” from them, i.e., from his high esteem for their fortitude. Despite Moshe Rabeinu’s awesome greatness, he felt genuinely humble and what’s more, exceedingly humble, when he witnessed the trials that we face in our generation.

Based on Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat, Vol. 2, p. 187.

[1] Sotah 49b.
[2] Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, 1:1, Tur, Ramo. Shulchan Aruch Admur HaZakein, mahadura basra, 1:3.
[3] Shemos 1:12.
[4] One of the many “duties of the heart” that Torah requires.
[5] Or, as the Previous Rebbe puts it, self sacrifice is the primary area in which our generation excels (Sefer HaMa’amarim 5709, p. 104).
[6] Bamidbar 12:3.
[7] Cf. Devarim 34:2, where Rashi states that Moshe Rabeinu was shown a vision of all the events that would occur to the Jewish people until the Resurrection of the Dead.

This post was dedicated by Avi Turner and family as a merit for Nechama Bas Luba to have a complete recovery.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.