Yud Tes Kislev; The Bris of a Chosid!!
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik
There is a known saying of the Previous Rebbe that Yud Kislev is the birth of a chosid and Yud Tes Kislev is the bris. What is the connection between birth and bris to Yud and Yud Tes Kislev?
Let’s begin with birth by understanding the greatness of a birthday. The Rebbe placed special emphasis on the importance of a birthday. For the first 25 years of the Rebbe’s nesius, chassidim would go into yechidus every year for their birthday. The Rebbe explained that the world celebrates Rosh Hashana because it’s the day that Adam HaRishon was born and not the day the world was created. In other words, the real purpose of the world is not for the trees or the flowers or the owls; the purpose is for man. This is because Adam HaRishon has a unique role. His role is to cultivate the world and bring it to fulfill its purpose. The purpose of creation is to make this place into a dwelling place for Hashem. Adam brought the world to serve Hashem and reveal Hashem’s presence down here. He said to every aspect of creation; “Come let us bow to Hashem”. With his service of Hashem he completed the creation. The Medrash says that the word Breishis means beis reishis, two beginnings, for the Torah and for Yisroel. Not just for the sake of the eagles and the elk.
Every single neshama is predesigned as to when it will come into this world. The specific time is set for this neshama to fulfill its unique purpose in completing Hashem’s plan for creation. By being born, by the very fact that this neshama is being brought down here, Hashem is saying; I cannot complete my desire without you. My desire is that the world be a dwelling place for me. When a neshama does this it brings the greatest joy and pleasure to Hashem. This is everyone’s personal Rosh Hashana.
Yud Kislev is the birth, the inner power to be a chosid. What does it mean to be a chosid? A chosid is not defined by his outer appearance, by wearing a hat or a long coat. The definition of a chosid is someone that transcends his self-interest and places the needs of others above his own. A chosid goes beyond the letter of the law. He goes out of the comfort of his environment to help another Jew. He’s a lamplighter. He inspires others with heartfelt words of chassidus and meaningful stories. He thinks about the physical and the spiritual condition of others and then forgoes personal gain to help others benefit. These are a few things that comprise a chosid.
In order to grow and develop as a chosid we need to learn chassidus. Chassidus brings warmth and feeling into all aspects of the life of a chosid. Having both aspects, both living as a chosid and learning chassidus is reflected in the Hayom Yom for Yud Tes Kislev; “L’Shana Tovah b’limud hachassidus u’’b darchei hachassidus”, for a good year in learning chassidus and the path of chassidus”. We do all of this together as chassidim, as one family.
What then is a spiritual bris? On the physical level there are three aspects. First, there is a skin that covers. Then we take action, we do the mitvah of cutting away the skin, and finally we have a circumcised person. If a person was born with a bris as it was by Moshe Rabbeinu then we still need to take action, we preform a hatafas dam bris where we take a drop of blood for the sake of the mitzvah. Once the act has been completed it’s not over, it’s an ongoing process. The Medrash says that as Dovid HaMelech stood in the bathhouse without his tefillin, he wondered how he was at that moment connected to Hashem. He then meditated on his mitzvah of bris mila, the ongoing mitzvah that is with him 24/7, wherever he goes. So too each one of have an everlasting spiritual connection that is with us wherever we go.
To be spiritually uncircumcised means that the animal soul is covering and hiding the G-dly soul. We remove that covering by turning away from the negative (sur m’ra) and being occupied with positive (asei tov). This is the ongoing state of being spiritually circumcised. It doesn’t happen on it’s own. Once, a chosid came to the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek and asked for a bracha for his child. He wanted him to remember everything the Rabbeim said so that he would automatically, by default be a guaranteed yirei shomayim. The Rebbe answered that the entire focus of Chassidus Chabad for the last 50 years has been to make it possible and to demand that a chosid do the work on his own. In 1951 the Rebbe said, I am here to help you, to work with to not just to rely on the Rabbeim to lift us up butt to do the work that is meant for us. Yud Tes Kislev is the bris, it gives us the koach to throw away the negative and to pursue the positive. The Rabbeim help us get out of the rut and help us serve Hashem by learning and performing Torah and mitzvos with simcha.
The Baal Hasimcha is helping us but we need to do our part. The Rebbe explained on the 28th of Nissan that it is up to us to bring Moshiach together. We are bringing Moshiach Now by learning chassidus, by being chassidim, by being connected and by spreading chassdus, yefutzu mayonoseicha chutza. Good Yom Tov, Good Shabbos