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Thursday
Jan042018

BASI L’GANI – 5718 –

Beis Moshiach presents the maamer the Rebbe MHM delivered on Yud-Alef Shvat 5718, in accordance with the custom established by the Rebbe to review each year a section of the Rebbe Rayatzs hemshechBasi LGaniof 5710. • This year we focus on the eighth section of the profound and foundational Chassidic discourse. * Section 4 & 5 of 8. 

Translated by Boruch Merkur

THE FUNDRAISER: CORDIAL YET CONVINCING

4. As we have seen, the shape of the letter Hei teaches that all of ones thought, speech, and action should be filled with G-dly light. As a result, ones middos (character traits) are also refined.

The maamer illustrates this concept with a description of a gabbai tzdaka whose speech is cordial and with sensitivity, peaceful and pleasant. The Rebbe cites specifically the example of a gabbai tzdaka to invoke the mystical concept explained above (Section 3) – that Gabbai Tzdaka LMaala, which corresponds to Yesod Bina within Zeer Anpin or Yesod Zeer Anpin itself, confers hashpaa to Malchus. This bestowal of hashpaa, however, does not detract from the giver, rather, “vnosaf odhe is given more.” That is, as a result of giving tzdaka, fromtzedek” [Sfiras HaMalchus] the letter Hei is formed, which is a complete union. Thus, when the Rebbe elaborates in the maamer about the avoda associated with the letter Hei, he cites specifically the concept of gabbai tzdaka.

And the Rebbe describes the gabbai tzdakas gentle manner of speech. On the one hand, a fundraiser must be assertive, adamant, and persuasive (such asmaasin al hatzdaka” – see Beis Yosef on Tur Yoreh Deia siman 248). Nevertheless, the gabbai tzdaka speaks in a peaceful and pleasant manner and he shuns pride to the furthest degree.

The approach of the gabbai tzdaka is understood in light of the Baal Shem Tovs teaching on the verse, “You shall not burn any leavening or any sweet fruitYou shall bring them as a first offering, etc.” (VaYikra 2:11-12 ff.). [Here it says, “You shall not burn…,” and then, “You shall bring them…”] The Baal Shem Tov resolves this seeming contradiction in terms of avoda, as follows. Just as yeast serves as a leavening agent, causing dough to rise, avoda must begin with a touch of pride [afirst offeringofleaveningorsweet fruit”]. That is, to ensure that the Yetzer HaRa, the Evil Inclination, does not deter a person by shaking his confidence with the question, “who am I and what am I?” there must initially be a sense of pride (hagbaa) in his avoda. This is the concept ofshminis shbshminis,” that one should allow himself to havean eighth of an eighthof pride (Sota 5a). All this applies, however, only to the beginning of ones avoda. But afterwards, “You shall not burn any leavening or any sweet fruit.” Therefore, a gabbai tzdaka who has already gained influence over others must distance himself from haughtiness to the ultimate extreme – “lo mina vlo miktzasa” (Sota 5a).

“NOTHING SHOULD BE DONE TO THE MAIDEN”

5. The shape of the letter Kuf is the same as a Hei apart from the Kufs elongated left leg, which dips below the baseline. As discussed above (Section 3), this part of the Kuf represents the concept ofher legs descend to death,” which gives rise to the great city of Rome, persecutors of the Jewish people.

This aspect of the letter Kuf is reflected in the mystical significance of a field. It says in Zohar, “there is a field and there is a field” (Zohar I 122a, end) – meaning that there is a holy sense of field and one that is unholy. Regarding theunholy fieldit is said: “He found her in a field. The betrothed maiden cried out but there was no one to rescue her” (Teitzei 22:27). The Tzemach Tzedek comments thatmaidenalludes to the G-dly Soul, which descends into the physical world. And the [abusive] man finds her in thefield,” the unholy field. A holy field is a place where G-d is present, as the verse states, “Beseech G-d when He is to be found; call out to Him when He is close” (Yeshayahu 55:6). Whereas, regarding an unholy field it is written, “Eisav is a man of the field” – he becomes the ruler and sovereign of it, to the extent that when themaiden cried outthere isno one [to] rescue her”; in this field the ruler and sovereign is none other thanEisava man of the field.”

The verse concludes with the phrase, “The man alone should be put to deathbut nothing should be done to the maiden,” for it is written, “He will not reject any outcast” (see Shmuel II 14:14). Thus, “The man alone should be put to death.” Klipos derive all their nourishment from kdusha, from holiness. And when themanremainsalone,” when the holy vitality is taken away from him, the man dies (“umeis haish, etc.”). “But nothing should be done to the maiden,” for even when one sins the soul maintains its faith in G-d (Tanya Ch. 24, end). Onlyher legs descend to death,” but her inner life remains pure, as it is said, “I shall not give My glory to another” (Yeshayahu 42:8). Nevertheless, for the time being and only superficially, the ruler and sovereign isEisavman of the field.”

Thus, the dominion of Eisav is alluded to by the rod that extends from the letter Kuf, upon which was built the great city of Rome, persecutor of the Jewish people.

In terms of avoda, falling prey to Eisav begins with the letters of inappropriate thoughts and idle chatter that fill our minds and conversation, for negative thoughts and speech give rise to negative actionsthe rod of the Kuf descending below. Not only are inappropriate thoughts and idle chatter detrimental unto themselves, they also detract from ones general avoda. The Mezritcher Maggid interprets the verse, “He did not slander with his tonguelo ragal al lshono” (Thillim 15:3), in a way that relates to this concept: Inappropriate thought and idle chatter slander the person [On High, in the Heavenly Court] and prosecute against his avoda. (The concern here is not only forbidden speech, such as lashon hara or rechilus, but even idle chatter.) The verse, “He did not slander with his tongue,” therefore, teaches that one should guard himself against harmful thoughts and spoken words so they should not prosecute against him. 

(To be continued.)

 

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