April 19, 2013
The Rebbe in #876, D'var Malchus, Lag B'Omer, Moshiach & Geula, women

It says in Yeshayahu, “Where is the bill of divorce…that I have sent?” – meaning that it does not exist! G-d never divorced, nor intended to divorce, the Jewish people. The fact that it appears otherwise – Moshiach will answer that. Or perhaps this itself is the answer – that the matter is only one of appearance. So what is holding Him back?!

Translated by Boruch Merkur


Rambam writes, “A man should not marry a woman with the intent to divorce her” (Laws of Divorce 10:21), “as it says, ‘Devise not evil against your neighbor, seeing he dwells securely with you’” (Laws of Forbidden Relations 21:28).

It is known, of course, that G-d follows His own laws, as derived from the verse, “He speaks His words to Yaakov, etc.” – “That which He does, He tells the Jewish people to do.” On this basis, the question is raised – in nigla, the revealed, legalistic dimension of Torah – regarding the general marriage of G-d to the Jewish people, which took place at the Giving of the Torah (as has been discussed at length elsewhere):

The Torah explicitly states, “This people will rise up and go astray … And I will forsake them” (VaYeilech 31:16-17), “And cast them to another land, etc.” (Nitzavim 29:27). That is, at the time of the wedding, at the Giving of the Torah, G-d had in mind to divorce the Jewish people, G-d forbid – the opposite of the Torah law, “A man should not marry a woman with the intent to divorce her”!

You cannot say here that this case is an exception, having “informed her from the onset that he is only marrying her for [a set duration, or number of] days,” in which case it is permitted (insofar as it is not in a manner of he “dwells securely with you”). This exception cannot apply in our case, for it is understood and obvious that since the matter is dependent upon the bride’s knowledge and will (“a woman is only betrothed in accordance with her will”), the Jewish people, being “a wise and understanding nation,” would certainly not consent to a marriage that is only for a predetermined time.

Thus [with regard to reconciling G-d’s forewarning that He “will forsake them” “And cast them to another land” with the marriage that took place at the Giving of the Torah], it appears that G-d had no viable alternative, as it were. That is, on the one hand, it is forbidden to marry a woman with the intent of divorcing her, and on the other hand, “to exchange them for another nation, I cannot do” [i.e., G-d remained intent on following through with His marriage to the Jewish people].


We must, therefore, say that the concept of divorce is not meant by these verses; G-d never intended to divorce the Jewish nation, as it says in the book of Yeshayahu the Prophet, the Prophet of Salvation, “Where is the bill of divorce with you that I have sent?” (stated as a rhetorical question) – meaning that it does not exist!

The fact that it appears otherwise (and similar arguments) – Moshiach Tzidkeinu will answer that. Or perhaps this itself is the answer – that the matter is only one of appearance.

And since this is so: What is holding Him back?! [That is, there is nothing preventing G-d from resuming His intimate connection with the Jewish people by redeeming us.]

Rambam writes (in the daily lesson of this Shabbos) that a Jew “wants to be part of the Jewish heritage, and wants to observe all the Mitzvos, etc.,” it is just that “his [evil] inclination overcame him.” However, regarding the Alm-ghty, such a thing cannot be said. The outcry is, therefore, even more pronounced: “ Ad masai?! How much longer must we suffer in this bitter exile?!”


Since G-d married the Jewish people, He must provide for them, as derived from the following logic. If G-d “provides for the entire world with His benevolence, with grace, kindness, and mercy,” how much more so must He provide for His own wife, the Jewish people!

To elaborate, the Torah defines the role of husband: “Her sustenance, her clothing, and her conjugal rights he shall not withhold from her [his wife].” Indeed, all of this is according to the perspective and benefit of the wife, the Jewish people. Thus, if the husband provides food (sustenance) that is appropriate for himself but not for his wife (for she cannot eat it, or it is not appealing to her) – that is not “her sustenance” (her food). Similarly with regard to her clothes – they should be appropriate for her needs and dignity, etc., and likewise with regard to intimacy, it must be specifically in a manner of affection and good will (as Rambam elaborates).

[But since the Jewish people remain in exile, denied these rights] there is no other recourse but to make a great outcry…


[The Rebbe smiled and continued.]

Were we to bang on the tables with the necessary force, the tables would surely break, and there would be no place to put the cups. Moreover, those who are sleeping will have no table to lean on… Therefore, the tables must stay intact.

But it makes no difference what happens to the tables and all the other things. The main thing is that we bring Moshiach Tzidkeinu “below ten handbreadths,” overtly manifest in this world: “A king from the Davidic dynasty proficient in Torah and occupied with Mitzvos, as Dovid, his forefather. He will compel all the Jewish people to go in its way and strengthen its breaches, wage the wars of G-d and be victorious, and build the Holy Temple in its place,” or in a manner of “if they are found to be meritorious – it will be with the clouds of heaven,” for then the Holy Temple will be revealed from Heaven.

Simply speaking, [we are anticipating the redemption imminently] literally in our times, “He did not hold back [on redeeming the Jewish people] even the blink of an eye.” The promise, “I will cause you to walk upright,” will then be fulfilled, and we will see how “night will be as bright as day.” Indeed, the meaning of all the blessings of the portion of the daily Chumash will be readily apparent in a manner of revealed blessings, with visibly revealed goodness, “below ten handbreadths,” “from His full, and open, holy ( ha’k’dosha ) and generous hand,” including “ ha’g’dusha (full, overflowing)”  [in place of “ ha’k’dosha ”] (as was printed in the siddur of the Baal Shem Tov), “an overflowing cup” in a manner of “enough and then some,” speedily in our times, literally!

[Those present then sang “We Want Moshiach Now” with great enthusiasm for an hour and a half!]

(From the address of Lag B’Omer 5746, bilti muga)


Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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