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Devar Torah - Noach

Friday, 23 October, 2020 - 9:35 am

Unpacking From Tishrei and Bringing the Life of Tishrei with Us throughout the Year

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

It is well known that we declare “Yaakov Halach l’Darcho” in Lubavitch at the end of the Tishrei Yomim Tovim. Tishrei was full of Yomim Tovim and now we are back to our routines. Yaakov represents the part of us that deals with the world. Yaakov’s name means to hold onto and control the heel of Eisav. Eisav represents the world.  We go about our way to make this world a dwelling place for Hashem, knowing Hashem in all our ways and doing everything l’shem Shomayim, for the sake of Heaven.

As the distance from Tishrei grows with every passing day and we traverse the vast expanse of winter through Cheshvan until Pesach we ask ourselves how to best fulfill our mission without faltering. As the year progresses we don’t feel the awe of Rosh Hashanah or the dancing of Simchas Torah as we did during Tishrei. How can we remember and how can we keep going?

In a letter (30 Tishrei 5744-1983) the Rebbe reminds us that the letters that spell Tishrei also spell Reishis (תשרי-רשית) which serves as a hint that the month of Tishrei is not just a beginning of the year but also the head-reish of the year.  Just as a head  determines what the body does,  similarly the month of Tishrei determines the best outcome for the entire year. By remembering our resolutions in our day-to-day life we enliven everything we do in thought speech and deed. By carrying over the month of Tishrei into the rest of the year we bring in much more life, light and kedusha  that we took from the month of Tishrei, the head of the year.

The theme of the days of Rosh Hashana are fear of Hashem and Kabbolas Ohl, acceptance of Hashem’s Kingship. Teshuva is the theme of the Eseres Yenei Teshuva and Yom Kippur. The themes of Sukkos, Shemini Ateres and Simchas Torah are the simcha and zerizus-alacrity in the performance of mitzvos and the highest expression of simcha with the Torah.

These themes live with us  throughout the year in their fullest sense by the action we take. It begins immediately when we wake up in the morning when we declare “Modeh Ani Lifanecha Melech..., I offer thanks to You, King...”.  This declaration is a reflection of the crowning of Hashem that occurred on Rosh Hashanah. This declaration brings the fear of Hashem into the entire day.  This is also a daily reflection of the Yomim Norayim in general and Yom Kippur in particular when accompanied with complete teshuva. Complete teshuva inspires all of the mitzvos in general and in particular the learning of the Torah. When all of this is done with simcha it reflects the time of our simcha,  Sukkos, Shemini Ateres and Simchas Torah.

(Living the themes of Tishrei throughout the year is connected to parshas Noach. Was Noach just one person all-alone against the entire world? No! He was constantly with Hashem; “Es HaElokim hishalach Noach- Noach went with Hashem”. So too we go with Hashem as we stay connected to the themes of Tishrei throughout the year)

The daily actions we take are that much greater when we do them as a united community unified by the one Torah. When we are united we reveal into our daily activities that “Elokim nitzav b’Adas Kel, Hashem stands in the Congregation of Kel”. Hashem arrives in advance to give the energy and brachos for our success in accomplishing the above mentioned completely and with simcha.

If for any reason someone was not able to accomplish the aforementioned until now, the opportunity extends itself after the Yomim Tovim until the 7th of Marcheshvan.  With all our efforts and our energy to  bring the head of the year, all the themes of Tishrei into our daily life together as one we bring closer the geula ha’amitis v’hashleima through Moshiach which will be with with ‘shuva and nachas’,  complete peace and tranquility speedily in our days.

A Good Shabbos

(Partially adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe 30 Tishrei 5744-1983) 

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