A chasidic discourse and talk by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Translation and Commentary by: Rabbi Yosef B. Marcus
The 28th day of the month of Sivan, 5751 (1991), marked the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, and his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, to the United States of America. To commemorate this momentous occasion, a special anniversary monograph was published, which the Rebbe personally attributed ro thousands of Chasidim, along with a crisp, new dollar bill, to be given to charity. The monograph comprised various Chasidic discourses and talks by the Rebbe, on the significance of the day and discussing the reestablishment of the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters upon American shores.
The present publication contains a sampling of this Monograph: a discourse - Garments of the Soul; a talk: A Day of Strength; and a brief overview describing the events leading up to the 28th of Sivan, 5701 (1941). This day is now marked annually in Jewish communities around the world, celebrating the day on which the Rebbe began his decades-long revolutionary works of revitilizing Jewish life in the Western Hemisphere and across the globe.
Garments of the Soul: There are three types of people: the tzaddik - the righteous one, ruled by his good inclination; the rasha - the wicked one, ruled by his evil inclination; and the beinoni - the "intermediate" one, ruled by both (berachot 61b).
The present maamar explores the difference between tzaddikim and beinonim through the backdrop of two Biblical tales involving spies - sent by Moses and Joshua respectively. To explain the differences between the two, the maamar moves to the eternal, spiritual manifestation of the story in which man "sends spies" to assess and conquer "Cannan" - the body and animal soul - and transform them to holiness, "the land of Israel."
Jericho is thus man's behavior - his thought, speech and deed. To spy out and conquer Jericho means to be a beinoni. The rest of the land of the seven nations man's psyche, his emotions. To spy out and conquer the rest of the land is to be a tzaddik. The mission of the average man is to behave - not necessarily to change inside. To conquer Jericho, and leave the rest of the land to Moses.
However, Jericho is merely the "lock" of the land. If one has conquered Jericho the rest of the land is open before him - the service of transforming the seven emotions can then be achieved. and ultimately, in the Messianic era, the three parts of the mind will also be transformed, which correspond to the land of the Keini, Knizi and Kadmoni - promised to Abraham for a future inheritance.
28 Sivan: A day of Strength: In the first of the Biblical stories explored in the above maamar, G-d says to Moses: Send for yourself men who will inspect the land.... The great commentator, Rashi, remarks: "On your own accord; I am not commanding you." In the talk presented here, the Rebbe derives a new dimension for serving G-d from these words regarding matters where there is no express command in the Torah. In certain instances, G-d desires that one's behavior not be dictated from Above, but rather, one must decide on his own to behave in a manner that one's individual will reflect G-d's will.
This notion appears again at the close of the Parshah, regarding the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit, which is up to the person to decide "on his own accord" wether he will wear a garment that requires tzitzit at its corners.
Defining the day of the talk as "A Day of Strength," the Rebbe then explains the significance of the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, its relation to the giving of the Torah, the event of the Spies, and to the subsequent month of Tammuz. A final word of practical application focuses on intensified dedication to disseminating the Torah and Chasidism, with tha wish that all the increased efforts will hasten the complete and final redemption, when we will be able to fulfill all the mitzvot of the Torah in their entirety.
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