Mystical Insights In The Parsha – Vayeitzie / Yud Kislev 5749
|The Mitteleh Rebbe was informed of his release (from false charges) while reading the verse Padah Bishalom Nafishi – my soul was redeemed in peace.||Chapter 1|
|The same sequence (of being informed of his release while reading Padah…) happened to the Alter Rebbe.||Note 7|
|Let’s analyze the wording of the Passuk (based on the Maamer of the Mitteleh Rebbe)
Padah Bishalom Nafshi -my soul was redeemed in peace:
There is a war which is won in which the enemy becomes a friend – this is like in the times of Shlomoh that the enemies were so impressed by his wisdom they flocked to him.
..Mikrav Li – From Close to me
This refers to an even greater enemy, who is not throwing rockets rather in close combat, yet even such an enemy not only stops, but in fact becomes transformed into a friend.
|In a similar sense the Mitteleh Rebbe’s arrest happened from those who were close (fellow Jews – in fact jealous relatives Ed.)
But his redemption not only did not diminish rather exponentially increased Chassidus! as is known, that from the Chochmah – points of wisdom taught by the Alter Rebbe (his father) the Mitteleh Rebbe greatly expanded the themes (sometimes writing books on single themes). And this is all in preparation for the infinite wisdom from God when Moshiach comes!
|The Mitteleh Rebbe’s release was connected to the inner dimension of Torah (as is known, he wrote a discourse that greatly pleased the gentile judge Ed.)||Chapter 2|
|The Alter Rebbe’s release also greatly expanded Chassidus.||Note 21|
|This concept of winning things peacefully is paralleled in this week’s Parsha, for Yaakov went to the lowest depths – from Israel, to the home of his conman uncle – yet precisely there he managed to marry, to build the (majority of) the twelve tribes, who became the foundation of the entire Jewish people. For the goal is not to remain in one’s holiness, but to elevate the outside.||Chapter 3|
|The revelation of Chassidus is similar to the work of Yaakov transforming the outside (Chutz La-aretz) to the inside (Eretz Yisroel) – in other words, through teaching everyone Chassidus we rectify, unify and redeem the world.||Chapter 4|
|We must parallel – as the teaching “the stories of our forefathers are our life lessons” – the way of Yaakov and the Mitteleh Rebbe (especially as Yaakov is called the most special of the forefathers) for through growing and spreading Judaism and Chassidus in our vicinity we thereby transform the world – we furthermore cause the coming of Moshiach.||Chapter 5|
|The time – though it is always, but certainly propitious – to spread Chassidus and transform the world is in the month of Kislev, a month that the redemptions expanded exponentially Chassidus.||Chapter 6|
|We should a. make as many Farbrengens – especially on the Chassidishe festivals but throughout Kislev – as possible, b. we should learn daily Chassidus from each of the Rebbes as well as learn one subject, seeing the additions and novel insights contributed on the subject by each Rebbe.||Chapter 8|
|When Moshiach comes we will not lose the benefit of the transformation (ishapchah) of darkness to light which especially comes about in Galus.||Note 99|
Mystical Insights In The Parsha – Vayeitzie 5750
|There are two kinds of signs, one that (like a kosher label) shows that the item is something (kosher) the other that creates the item (fins and scales make the fish kosher) the idea that the lives of our forefathers are signposts of our lives, is not that they are symbolic but are cosmic prototypes recurring individually to their children.||Chapter 1|
|Our sages teach that Avrohom separated himself from Yishmoel and Yitzchok separated himself from Eisav, for Avrohom represented the love of holiness while Yishmoel the love of unholiness; Yitzchok the severity of holinesses, Eisav the severity of unholiness – practically this means, when we love, we must make sure we are only loving that which is kosher! (dictated by the Torah) And when we are strict, this must be not about others (for towards others we must act like Abraham, reaching out only with love) rather it refers to self-discipline.||Chapter 2|
|Yaakov was the most special of the forefathers, for all his children were Tzaddikim, in other words, unlike Abraham that Yishmoel had to be separated from him and Yitzchok, that Eisav had to be separated; we find that Rueven was the first person to do Teshuvah (repent.) We know repentance is the highest form of Divine service for it creates the strongest bond (like reconciliation creates a stronger bond than initial love).||Chapter 3|
|We find something remarkable by Yaakov that a great portion of his life described in the Torah happened in the lowest of places (Lavan and Egypt, the most corrupt of all countries) the lesson is, that the gaol is not to ensconce oneself in a holy environment, rather to precisely, in the darkness shine light! – this not only is a benefit to those who are in darkness, but also testifies that the person who is shining is not limited to his environment (as we see he overcomes instead of succumbs.)||Chapter 4|
|Though it says the level of a Baal Teshuvah exceeds the level of a Tzaddik Gamur, nonetheless as it states, “Moshiach will get Tzaddikim to do Teshuvah,” this is as the Alter Rebbe explains that Teshuvah is the rebound effect – the desire which comes from feeling distant – hence even a Tzaddik can meditate (that relative to God’s greatness and kindness, all he has done still makes him) very distant – and at this level this Teshuvah is even greater.||Notes 52, 53|
|Yaakov represented the service of God in the three primary elements of Tzaddik, Bienoini and Rasha – Tzaddikim (as explained in Tanya) has such a strong love for God that he abhors anything evil (hence he has no association to it) a Benoinie (as explained in Tanya) is one who controls his thoughts, speech and actions, hence he overcomes evil (by rejecting any thoughts for example which are negative) but the Rasha, through Teshuvah transforms evil – this corresponds to the three periods of Yaakov’s life: Israel (Tzaddik) by Lavan (Benoinie) Egypt (Transformation.)||Chapter 5|
|Was Yaakov a split personality (as we said before, that he served God on the three levels of Tzaddik Benoinie Rasha?) The answer is, as Yaakov was perfect, the outcome of his complete wholeness was, that despite any circumstance his personality automatically shined and did the right thing.||Chapter 6|
|Every Jew (paralleling our forefather Yaakov) must have these three levels of: Teshuvah (rejecting evil) Beinoinie (controlling one’s thoughts speach and actions) and Tzaddik (continually growing in one’s closeness to God.)||Chapter 7|
|God’s knowledge of an event is like a parent who knows how his child will act, hence is not a knowledge that causes, rather is caused by the action (this clarifies how God can both know destiny yet grant freedom.)||Note 78|
|These three levels (Tzaddik, Benionie Rasha) exists in every Jews life – there is the time we are in “Israel,” Synagogues and studying Torah, there is the time where we must be involved in work/the world, till the times we are dealing with people who may not be savory – furthermore, this corresponds to the Jewish people as a whole – for they had a long time in Israel, they then went into exile and sometimes dealing with unsavory people – but ultimately we emerge (as we actually witness the incredible positive transformation (certainly visa-vie all of history) in our time) transforming everyone!||Chapter 8|
|Yaakov’s life is paralleled in the Mitteleh Rebbe – who was not only released from imprisonment but furthermore the people of the land respected him, and when it came to the release of the Tzemach Tzeddek they also crowned him (an eternal crown that extends forever down the line) “Honored Citizen For Generations.”||Chapter 9|
|This ability to transform the entire world – inspiring it with the light of Torah – to the present time when the entire world is ready for Moshiach – was bequeathed from the Rebbe to the entire world.||Chapter 9|
Mystical Insights In The Parsha – Vayeitzie 5751
|We find as Rashi teaches, when Yaakov dreamt that a ladder was on the ground reaching into heaven and angels were going up and down, this was because as he was leaving Israel the angels of Israel (who remain there) departed and new angels descended. As Yaakov returns to Israel, once again he is greeted by the Israeli angels and now the two groups being together, hence he calls the places machanayim – groups.||Chapter 1|
|All the stories of our forefathers especially Yaakov the most special, are life lessons – we learn from this as follows – every Jew is a composite of both a soul and a body – your soul is sort of the Israel angel and your body the outside of Israel – as is known, every act that we do creates an angle, hence we are continuously creating two camps of angels those created from our soul based involvement and those created from our body based involvement.||Chapter 2|
|Practically we must serve God with our Israel angel – the land of Israel, the medrash teaches, is etymologically connected to “It runs to do the will of it’s Creator” similarly we need to be alert, eager, and conscientious – this parallels what it states in Tanya, that there are two types of people serving God, one who may serve perfunctorily though perfectly, but lacking the enthusiasm, desire and drive is considered to not actually serve.||Chapter 3|
|In more details, the work with the body primarily is the necessity to get rid of the gross animilistic compulsions and the work of the soul is to never be satisfied but continually upgrade – in effect, it is only when a person completely transforms even from their current positive spiritual standing to allowing the infinite one total control; this represents the limitus test that the transformation of the body was also not due to the soul’s desire but based on the conscious choice to do good (for if it was just the soul’s desire, it would end there but by going even beyond the soul’s desire – for to desire, means there is something desiring, and therefore to go beyond that something, into the state of eternal vacuum – thus making space for the eternal one – proves this.)||Chapter 4|
|The idea of eternal growth is found even within the work of refining the animal’s soul (the body) a. firstly a person realizes that there is an unlimited number of growth steps, so even when doing one, he is cognizant that there will be another b. there is no limit on the self-refinement, for there is always an element of ego (hence one can always chip away).||Chapter 5|
|These two points (continual growth and internal continuous refinement) are hinted in the kosher symbols that make a kosher animal kosher (chewing the cud and split hooves) both represent the idea of double (chewing the cud, as the animal swallows then regurgitates to chew it down more and split hooves is two separate “toes”) this represents both the idea of continuously ascending and being conscious during any spiritual involvement, that there will be another ascension and the idea of always digging even deeper.||Chapter 5|
|The idea that Yaakov had groups of angels (the Israel and outside) together, represents that even when a Jew is in Galus (outside of Israel) we are still cognizant that ultimately our service of God is not so much about stepping out of evil (represented by outside of Israel) but in fact the continual infinite ascension (represented by the Israel angels.)||Chapter 6|
|Furthermore we find that Yaakov sent angels to refine his brother, which represents that a Jew must approach the world both at the highest level of truth but engage even with the lowest – thus refining everyone.||Chapter 7|
|Finally it is not enough self-refinement but this idea of refining the world is necessary and has been achieved, as our sages teach us that in the end (as Moshiach comes) will be the final elevation of Eisav through Yaakov (this refers to the adoption of human rights and positive values particularly by the west) and as the verse states, “And redeemers will arise from the Mount of Zion, to judge the Mount of Eisav and the Moshiach will arrive.”||Chapter 8|
|More important than self-refinement is actual acts of goodness and kindness.||Note 78|
|Yaakov the third of our forefathers is connected and represents the study of Torah (as the verse says, “A humble man who sat – studying Torah”.)||Chapter 10|
|The Torah as is known has three sections (Torah, Neveim, Kesuvim and many more association to the number three) for three represents the unity (as one is an individual, two represents separate and three represents a force beyond both that serves as a unifying factor.)||Chapter 10|
|Torah brings unity, as it unites the two separate realities of God and the universe, merging them through Torah.||Chapter 10|
|We need to increase in our study of Torah in this auspicious month of Kislev -we need to go beyond what we think we are capable of.||Chapter 11|
|Moshiach will unify the world showing everyone how to serve God.||Chapter 11|
Mystical Insights In The Parsha – Vayeitzie 5752
|The Mitteleh Rebbe whose redemption day (Yud Kislev) is in (or in the vicinity) of Parshas Vayietzei and remarkably his birthday and passing is on the same day Tes Kislev – hence these events are connected (as the Shalah writes, that festivals have a connection to the Parsha) of the week.||Chapter 1|
|It states by Mosheh Rabeinu (who was born and died on zayin adar) that God counts the days of Tzaddikim (to complete their life on their birthday) representing their fulfillment of their mission on earth.||Chapter 2|
|What is the significance that the physical years of a Tzaddik should be complete – isn’t it enough to know spiritually he completed his mission?
This teaches a profound lesson – the goal is not spirituality, rather to elevate, refine, redirect and encompass the physical – in other words, the gaol of the Tzaddik is not to ignore this world and his body rather (and time representing the very foundation of our world hence representing the idea of a complete circle from birth to death and year to year) hence the Tzaddik creates that his body becomes an absolute expression of his soul – there are no dichotomies.
|It is known the days of a person’s life represents the garments – Mitzvos he must perform.||Chapter 3|
|The main division of time is days.||Note 18|
|Mosheh encompasses all the seven shepherds (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Josef, Moses, Aaron & King David) and the spiritual life force that emanates from their souls go via his to the Jewish people.||Note 30|
|We could wonder why would Yaakov’s (the most special of the forefathers) feature story in the Torah begins by leaving Israel (Parshas Vayietzie?)
This too teaches us a profound lesson for it parallels the journey of every soul – we begin in Israel, in heaven, with the light and love and truth, but then we journey into the darkness, falsehood, and sometimes deceit of this world – but that’s the point, for firstly our job is to illuminate the darkest places, transforming darkness into light (and as people learn from people, so by being good and kind others will emulate) and furthermore, precisely from this decent the greatest ascent – namely the soul becomes a growing entity (mihalech) attaining this level of infinite growth (which it doesn’t get in heaven.)
|Yaakov went and lied down to sleep – when a person sleeps, their mind ceases which is why it levels with their feet – this is symbolic of the soul in heaven – cognizant of Divine truth, entering into a body where the darkness of it and the world conceal – especially today in the final darkest times before the infinite light of Moshiach, hence a person in a sense “loses their mind.”
However this descent becomes the greatest ascent, for it is here that the soul inspires and transforms the body into a spiritually positive being.
|Our sages teach that when Yaakov went to sleep on the location of the future Beis Hamikdosh (though unknown to him at that moment) this was the first time he lay down to sleep (instead of catching cat-naps during study) in 14 years.
The significance of sleep as mentioned is that the mind loses itself, this is reminiscent of what the Baal Shem Tov teaches, that the simple goodness of a simple Jew is God (for in the humble person lacking any positive association to their mind, their innate Divine soul sparkles.)
Hence it is specifically following all of Jacob’s study that he went to sleep, signifying allowing the Divine essence which is infinitely beyond the mind to dominate all of him.
|First we begin to know God through a top-down relationship, but then we get to the level where as we touch the essence of God in which there is no higher or lower, hence, even the lower (doesn’t have to be subjected to) but becomes an expression of the higher.||Note 84|
|Why does the verse emphasize that Jacob placed stones to protect his head (doesn’t he need – as this was to be protection from wild animals – his body as well?)
According to Chassidus (the mystical and practical life lessons) the explanation is – stones represent strength and endurance – Yaakov was manifesting the Divine soul to become the dominant force controlling all of his personality (and once this force manifests, it automatically brings with it every possible physical benefit too.)
|We now understand why this was necessary before Yaakov headed out to the darkness of Charan (and his conman uncle Lavan.)
As the Jew is united to the point of being God and as God is infinite – hence there is no darkness that the Jew cannot transform (as we see empirically) thus it was particularly going into the darkness that Yaakov needed this infinite level.
|As Yaakov’s sojourn by Lavan, mainly was self refinement and personal growth (where he had the majority of his children etc.) and the goal is to transform the world, hence the next Parsha he sends angels to see how his brother Eisav fares.
For from his perspective, he is willing to refine him (though Eisav was not yet ready.)
The refining of Eisav represents taking raw desire (which can be used selfishly) and imbuing it, channeling it into selflessness – this comes from the infinite level of the Divine capable of transforming that darkness turns to light.
|The two Parshas of Vayeitzei and Vayishlach are the first two which discus the Jews service in elevating the world – this transformation goes to the extent that the very physical becomes cognizant that it’s merely the Divine source (hence we know, when Moshiach comes, the walls of the house will encourage the Jew to do a Mitzvah, as the physical fruit of the tree (if someone absentmindedly wishes to pick a fruit, the fruit will say “it’s Shabbos”) this obviously extends to animals and certainly to the body of a Jew, as the body itself will visibly see the Divine animating energizing energy force (which creates matter, e=mc2.)||Chapter 13|
|This unifying of heaven and earth is very much the result of the revealing of Chassidus, especially the Chabad Chassidus which brings the loftiest Divine light into the human conceptual framework.||Chapter 14|
|Each one of the Chabad Rebbes expanded the conceptual paradigms of the ideas of Chassidus – The Alter Rebbe, the level of Chochmah, the quintessential idea, the Mitteleh Rebbe took it to the next step called Binah, which is the comparison of the river’s expanse relative to the source from the underground wellspring where it stems from – this highlights the Mitteleh Rebbe’s central role in unifying the infinite into the finite, for precisely from expansive explanations does the mind comprehend.||Chapter 15|
|We now understand why practically the Mitteleh Rebbe lived his physical years in a complete way (he passed away on his birthday, for though generally the completion of a Tzaddik is spiritual) but as his service was specifically in the unifying of these two realms (the spirit and the matter) hence this was most appropriate.
His redemption on the 10th of Kislev (as by the Alter Rebbe) becomes the forerunner and catalyst and opportunity, paving the way for the complete expansion of Chassidic teachings.
|Shabbos we see clearly the spirit in matter for on Shabbos we indulge in spiritual food (the ultimate combination of spirit and matter.)
Furthermore a number of actual transformations occur (note 153) a Jew who lies during the week doesn’t on Shabbos (note 154) the face of a Jew shine brighter on Shabbos (155) a doctor/professor testified that the pulse of a Jew is different both Friday night and Shabbos day – this all due to the extra pleasure we receive from the extra Divine spirit that rests on us during Shabbos.
|All of the above (the unity of spirit and matter) stands so much more clearly today when we are standing in the messianic era (as is known, in every generation there is a Moshiach – a descendant of King David – waiting eagerly to take the Jews from axle) we already have the Torah of Moshiach (represented in the meal – of livayason and shoar habor.)
All a Jew needs to do, is properly open up his eyes and he will become cognizant that the messianic era has already begun!
|Practically we should make sure to learn the Chassidus of the Mitteleh Rebbe on his birthday – we should also make sure to have a Farbrengen in which we take resolutions to learn his Chassidus – included in the resolutions, should be the preparation for a Farbrengen on Yud Tes Kislev and in general, through Kislev and on Chanukah and during Chanukah we should remember to give much Chanukah gelt (as the Rebbes instructed) to cheer our children and finally we should study in preparation for and to hasten the coming of Moshiach the parts in Torah that discus Moshiach.||Chapter 19|
|May it be that God who sees the heart’s resolutions – and can tell when we make resolutions that are sincere enough that they will come into practical application – so this will turn the scales and immediately the clouds will descend that will transport all the Jews and their synagogues and their homes (at least in this way everyone will happily go…) and the synagogues (and the homes that have a Chabad-House sign, as they are mini-synagogues) will be attached to the Beis Hamikdosh.||Chapter 20|