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Friday
Aug172012

A BLESSING AND A CURSE? BUT NOTHING NEGATIVE DESCENDS FROM ABOVE!

Translated by Boruch Merkur

If, G-d forbid, it comes out as the opposite of a blessing, the person is plagued with doubts. But this potential outcome is forewarned by the statement, “Behold, I give…a blessing and a curse.” * With the power of hiskashrus to the Rebbe, one comes to recognize that everything that comes from Above is actually entirely good. Then, even the curses are transformed into blessings.

THE REBBE IS A HUNTER OF JEWISH SOULS

The physicality of the body itself necessitates that one must contend with his animalistic nature, giving rise to the challenge of transforming the animal within into a beheima tehora, a pure or kosher animal. It says in K’hillas Yaakov that “beheima (animal)” is an acronym for “basar ha’yored min ha’shamayim – flesh that descends from the heavens,” in which case it is certainly pure, for “nothing impure descends from Heaven,” as our Sages say in Sanhedrin 59b. [Since our animalistic nature stems from a G-dly source, it can therefore be transformed into a “pure animal.”]

According to Jewish law, the kashrus of birds may not be determined strictly by simanim, characteristics common to all kosher animals of that kind. Rather, there must be a tradition, a mesora, accepting a particular species of foul as being kosher (Shulchan Aruch – Yoreh Deia 82:3, end). At first glance, after a tradition is established, one can detect which signs are required and know that the bird is kosher on his own [i.e., without relying on tradition]. The fact is, though, that we cannot rely upon our own logical deduction. We can study Shulchan Aruch and conduct ourselves in a manner that goes beyond the letter of the law, and yet [if we rely on human intellect alone we may] still be steeped in the depths of hell.

There must be a mesora, a tradition. Indeed, “mesora” also means “mesira – given over to, dedicated, devoted” and “hiskashrus – connected to, bound up with,” hiskashrus to the Rebbe. And the Rebbe is a hunter. (See Chulin 63b: “‘Ne’eman ha’tzayid lomar ‘oif zeh tahor, masar li rabbi…’” – “A hunter is believed when he says, ‘My master transmitted to me that this bird is kosher.’ Said Rebbi Yochanan: provided that he is an expert in them and their names … Does ‘master’ mean ‘a master in learning’ or ‘a master in hunting’? … it means ‘a master in hunting (rabbo tzayid)’” – cited in Rambam’s Laws of Forbidden Foods 1:15 and Tur Shulchan Aruch – Yoreh Deia 82:2). The Rebbe is a hunter occupied with saving Jewish souls. He is an expert in Jewish souls and their names, an expert in [detecting and foiling] the [seductive] advice of the Evil Inclination.

HOW TO HEAR A BRACHA FROM THE REBBE AND SEE THE BLESSING UNFOLD

And this is the meaning of “Behold, I give…the blessing and the curse,” which is said by Moshe, as well as the “manifestation of Moshe in every generation”: It can be the case that one hears a bracha, a blessing, from the Rebbe and the blessing is fulfilled. In that case, the person sees that the Rebbe is indeed a Rebbe, causing the person to be mekushar, bound and devoted to the Rebbe. But if, G-d forbid, it comes out the other way, the opposite of a blessing, the person is plagued with doubts. But this outcome is forewarned by the statement, “Behold, I give…a blessing and a curse,” providing a heads-up from the outset that circumstances can also turn out to be the opposite of a blessing.

The verse specifies, “I give – Anochi nosein,” indicating that just as there is a concept of “Anochi – I” Above, alluding to [the transcendent G-dly emanation called] Kesser (Likkutei Torah 34d), “Anochi mi sh’Anochi – I am as I am.” So too with regard to the soul, there is the concept of “Anochi,” referring to the Yechida [the highest dimension of the soul, which is associated with the “Moshe in every generation”].

How can a curse be given from the lofty level of “Anochi” [from Moshe Rabbeinu himself, from the Rebbe, when “nothing impure descends from Heaven”]?

It is possible that it is in order that one should suffer a lesser sentence [in this world, rather than a much more severe punishment in the World to Come]. (See Igeres HaT’shuva Ch. 12.)

Another possibility is that if it is indeed manifest in this manner [as an apparent curse], then he shall come to the Rebbe – whether it is to the Ohel or by means of a pidyon, or in some other manner – and tell the Alm-ghty through the Rebbe, “I accept it upon myself.” If he should say these words, he will have fulfilled his obligation with that alone, as Rashi z”l says, “‘the blessing’ – on condition that ‘you listen.’” If the person listens and accepts it upon himself, then the case is that “He gives to you the blessing.”  It also states in Likkutei Torah of the Arizal, on the verse, “‘Let him offer his cheek to the one who smites him; let him be filled with reproach’ (Eicha 3:30), that when he “offers his cheek” to receive the blow, he is “filled with reproach” [the reproach of humbling himself by presenting his cheek to be stricken] and is exonerated thereby from the blow itself.

Or, as it is explained in Igeres HaKodesh at the end of Ch. 11, the truth is that the curses are also blessings. In fact, they are such great blessings that they can only be manifest as the opposite of blessings. That is, in order that these blessings should not be subject to the evil eye nor subject to any accusation of the Attribute of Judgment. It is also in line with what is brought in Moed Katan (9b) and elucidated in Likkutei Torah, Parshas B’Chukosai, maamer beginning with the words “B’Shivri.”

And with the power of hiskashrus to the Rebbe, one comes to recognize that everything that comes from Above is actually entirely good. Then, the curses are transformed into blessings, and he clearly sees that the Rebbe is present in all the worlds, even more so than during the Rebbe’s lifetime in this world (Zohar III 71b, elucidated in TanyaIgeres HaKodesh siman Zach, 22), the true perfection of which will be apparent soon in the complete redemption, and the Rebbe will lead us to Moshiach, amen.

(From the farbrengen 
of Shabbos Parshas R’ei 5710; 
the original Yiddish transcript 
was edited by the Rebbe)

 

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