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Tuesday
Feb102015

22 SHVAT: THE DAY THAT BLESSES ALL JEWS

“I am one hundred and twenty years today,” “today my days and years have become complete,” enriched and complete days and years, both physically and spiritually. The continuation of Moshe’s 120 years is the eternal life of the true and complete redemption. * From Chapter Seven of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)

Translated by Boruch Merkur

1. The twenty-second of the month of Shvat is connected with blessing, as alluded to by the number twenty-two, Chaf-Beis, letters that spell “Becha – in you.” The word “becha” is associated with the context within which it appears in the verse, “Becha yevareich Yisroel – With you, the Jewish people will bless.” The twenty-second of Shvat is a day from which – through which and by means of which – Jews are blessed in all their concerns.

In fact, the (day of) “becha” itself blesses, as understood from the simple reading of the (Scriptural) text, “becha yevareich Yisroel” – that “in their blessing” (the blessing of Efraim and Menasheh), all Jews are blessed. So too, in our case, the day (of “becha”) blesses in a similar manner. As a result, “yevareich Yisroel” – all Jews are blessed. “Becha” is a kind of blessing that gives rise to further blessings – one blessing upon another blessing, ad ein ketz, ad infinitum. This furtherance of blessings extends “ad sof kol ha’olam – until the end of the world” (also interpreted to mean: the end of (“olam – the world” meaning the end of the) helem v’hester, hiddenness and concealment.

2. The same concept applies to the day of the yahrtzait of the twenty-second of Shvat – it is a day of blessing from which all Jews are blessed – “With you, the Jewish people will bless.”

Jews recognize that a yahrtzait is connected with a spiritual elevation, an ascent, underscored by the custom of saying Kaddish on a yahrtzait, which is done on account of the new elevation. Indeed, the ascent of a soul on a yahrtzait is monumental; it is an exponential ascent compared to the height the soul had attained prior to then.

A yahrtzait commemorates the day the soul departed from the body. The passing is, therefore, a concealment of the revelation of the soul, which is “a veritable part of G-d above,” within the body. This is the greatest possible concealment, rachmana litzlan. However, the Divine intent of this concealment is that it brings about a greater ascent (as is the case with other descents). Throughout the entire year (of the yahrtzait) an even higher ascent is achieved (incomparably higher than the preceding ascents). Here we are talking about an ascent of the soul of the deceased, as well benefit to living people (those how have a connection with the soul of the deceased), gaining further longevity and health, years filled with Torah and Mitzvos and good deeds.

The main thing, however, is the ascent that comes about in the true and complete redemption, which applies to both those who have passed on as well as the living, affecting both “those who reside in the dust shall get up and sing” – as is known that the ultimate perfection (even of the soul) is specifically as souls in bodies in the Era of the Resurrection of the Dead – as well as those Jews who had a connection with the soul of the deceased, as it is written, “Death will be swallowed up forever and G-d, the L-rd, will wipe away the tears from every face.” It is understood that since “wiping…tears” comes about through G-d Himself (“and Havaya Elokim will wipe away the tears”), not only are the tears of former times erased (as the simple read of “wipe away” implies), but it brings about a greater ascent. This inference can also be drawn from the interpretation that “dim’a – tears” is numerically equivalent to 119, signifying that it is lacking one of the 120 permutations of G-d’s name “Elokim.” Through “and Havaya Elokim, will wipe away the tears” the completeness of 120 is achieved (120 being the gematria of “dim’a” plus one, representing the whole word) – “and his lifespan was 120 years,” as stated about Moshe Rabbeinu: I am one hundred and twenty years today,” “today my days and years have become complete,” enriched and complete days and years, both physically and spiritually. The continuation of Moshe’s 120 years is the eternal life of the true and complete redemption.

(From the address of Shabbos Parshas Yisro, 20 Shvat, and Monday of Parshas Mishpatim, 22 Shvat 5752; Seifer HaSichos 5752,
pg. 344-345)

 

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