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Devar Torah - Balak

Thursday, 20 June, 2013 - 11:00 pm

Walking Together with Every Jew toward the Redemption. 
The Days of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

The Previous Rebbe wrote the following to chassidim about the days of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz: “They are fitting to be a days of fabrengen used to awaken the strengthening of the Torah and Judaism in each place according to its situation”

The Rebbe explains that strengthening the Torah and Judaism are not two separate things. Really the entire focus is on strengthening Judaism. It is impossible however to strengthen Judaism without first strengthening the Torah.

What does it really mean nowadays to be a Jew and how do we go about strengthening Judaism? Everything we know about the truth of who we are and how we achieve all that we can accomplish comes from the Torah and is defined solely by the Torah.

Therefore the Previous Rebbe is saying that we must first strengthen our connection to the Torah in its totality. Every verse every minhag, all of it, comes from Hashem Echod, min hashamayim- from on high, and is therefore infinite. Then and only then can we have the clarity to know what Judaism really is and what it means to be a Jew.

We should not and cannot be satisfied by focusing on those with whom we already ‘share the same roof’; with those who already have a foothold in Judaism. We also need to focus on every single Jew even one who has become completely estranged of any vestige of Yiddishkeit. Even with someone with whom we may not have anything in common for whom the name “Jew” is only a nickname. He may not even know what it means to be a Jew or that the Torah is from Hashem and it defines who we are.

The Previous Rebbe says in these words that this is the message of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz. We should use this opportunity to awaken and strengthen the Torah and Judaism in each and every place according to its situation. We have the ability to bring true warmth, sincere ahavas Yisroel and vitality to every Jew and his Judaism regardless of his personal situation.

The true meaning of ahavas Yisroel has been revealed to us by a simple statement of the Baal Shem Tov and throughout chassidus. To love your fellow Jew doesn’t only mean your personal friend, or someone you already have a sense or a feeling.  The essential ahavas Yisroel is revealed when it is for the Jew whom you have never met. The Rebbe explains that this doesn’t just mean that you never met because of physical distance or lack of contact. More significantly what is meant here is a Jew that is in a far away place spiritually from Judaism and its values. He is so distant that you have never come across him at any place, nor do you even recognize him.

Shulchan Aruch (based on the Gemara) says that regardless of one’s geographical location, when a Jew davens, his prayers pass through the Beis HaMikdash. For this reason the halacha requires that we face the Beis HaMikdash and the Kodesh HaKodashim during Shemona Esrei.  When a Jew davens as he should and pours out his heart he does so along with every other Jew who does the same. Because of this we all find ourselves together in the same Beis HaMikdash in the Kodesh HaKodashim. This is true even if we are physically at opposite ends of the planet.

The Rebbe teaches us that this shows us how far ahavas Yisroel goes. We are connected to every Jew even someone who has been taken captive among the nations, and has never davened ever, even for his Bar Mitzvah. Therefore we have never been together with him spiritually in the Beis HaMikdash. We must have ahavas Yisroel, even for such a Jew.

The first place we start with strengthening any Jew even the most distant is by first strengthening the Torah, by teaching him the fundamentals. We explain that the foundation of the Torah never changes according to the times or one’s local. Quite the opposite, Aharon HaKohen drew every Jew close with great love to the Torah. He never however brought the Torah down to the limited perspectives and perceptions of the world. We never compromise our standards. At the same time we realize that the Torah speaks directly and completely to every person throughout time based on his or her personal circumstances.

This is what Toras Emes is, and this is what the Previous Rebbe’s bracha for Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz brings.  By connecting to the Rebbe and the Geula of these days we get strengthened in the Torah (most essentially Penimius HaTorah) in a way that strengthens each Jew (even the most distant) and the Judaism of each individual according to their circumstances. 

So while it may be that this person may be starting from the very beginning with an aleph, it is with the clarity that it never ends there. Its always followed by beis, the beis of Breishis the first letter of the Torah. It continues all the way until the final letter of the Torah, the lamed of L’einei kol Yisroel”, it is all one long word of the entire Written Torah. And immediately, with one continuation we go from the lamed to the mem of “meimasai korin es hashema barvis” straight into the entire Oral Torah. This continues seamlessly right through all of what every sage has revealed and enacted throughout the generations and culminates with the revelation of Toraso shel Moshiach. It is one complete and united Torah that is unchanging, infinite and indivisible.

Our job is to reach every Jew and show him true ahavas Yisroel.

We need to explain what is so special about being a Jew. We need to use whatever method necessary to addresses his circumstances so that he comes to realize and appreciate that the Torah and Judaism is his life and length of days as well as its relevance now and always.

By bringing a clear and inspired picture of what following in the ways of the Torah leads to, how it is our true essence and how its completion depends on all of us together doing our part, will we ourselves merit to do true and complete teshuvah.

Then all of us together will form Tzivos Hashem which will go with the strength of the Torah and its mitzvos to the true and complete redemption with Moshiach Tzidkeinu now!

(Adapted from Yud Beis Tammus Fabrengen 5729; Likutei Sichos v. 33 pages 145-148 and Sichos Kodesh 5729-1969 pages 258-262)

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