April 14, 2015
Beis Moshiach in #969, D'var Malchus, Moshiach & Geula, chai v'kayam

For those to whom Moshe is still alive and well, “below ten handbreadths,” they still have the mahn, the well, and the clouds of glory. So, even now they don’t require the concept of a wall. * From Chapter Eight of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)

8. […] There is the well-known saying of the tzaddik Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev: Master of the universe, had You placed before man [the spiritual delights of] the Future Era and the Garden of Eden (as well as l’havdil [the suffering of] Gehinom), and had You merely written about the pleasures of the physical world in Reishis Chochma, certainly no Jew would commit a sin. However, since You have placed before man the desires of the world and You have [merely] written about Gehinom in Reishis Chochma, etc.

Similarly regarding our topic of discussion: In the time of Moshe, who personally gave the Jewish people “the Tablets of Stone, as well as the Torah and the Mitzva,” Jews openly saw that the way of Torah and Mitzvos is the only path to merit all good things, spiritual and material, wherever needed. [The Jews in the desert enjoyed miraculous beneficence from On High] bread from the heavens, water from the well of Miriam, and the clouds of glory, which would wash and press their clothing (in addition to the fact that their clothing would grow with them). Conversely, they plainly saw how punishment was meted out upon them were they not to follow the path of Torah. Thus, [given this overt experience of reward and punishment] there was no need for the addition protection and warning of a wall – signified by the concept of a walled city during the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun – in order to follow the path of Torah. However, after the histalkus of Moshe, when the miracles of the mahn, the well, and the clouds of glory, etc., ceased, there arose the need to add in the special protection and caution to go in the way of Torah afforded by a wall.

The truth is that “Moshe did not die”; his presence is only lacking “below ten handbreadths,” since he “stands and serves On High.” As a result of Moshe’s absence from the physical world, the mahn, the well, and the clouds of glory, etc., were also missing. Thus, [in the times of Yehoshua] there was a need for the concept of a wall.

However, for those to whom Moshe is still alive and well, “below ten handbreadths,” they still have the mahn, the well, and the clouds of glory. So, even now they don’t require the concept of a wall.

9. Further insight into the matter:

A historic, Biblical walled city is one that had a wall during the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun, for Yehoshua [and not Moshe Rabbeinu] led the Jewish people into the Holy Land. Among the reasons why Moshe did not enter Eretz Yisroel is that he did not want to enter Eretz Yisroel alone, without the people of his generation (all those who were bound and connected to him, or even those who merely had an affiliation with him), for they were not ready and not worthy to enter the land [see Footnote 30 in the original for sources].

The explanation of this matter as illuminated by the inner dimension of the Torah: Why did G-d orchestrate things so that specifically Yehoshua [and not Moshe Rabbeinu] would bring the Jewish people into the Holy Land? It is explained in the teachings of Chassidus that were Moshe to have led the Jewish people into the land, their service of G-d would not have required toil, exertion. But G-d’s will is that spiritual service should be done specifically through toil, which is actually an expression of His kindness to humanity. G-d is the ultimate good, and the nature of the good is to bestow goodness upon others. True, complete goodness is when the beneficence extended to others is not undeserved, “bread of shame,” but comes about through one’s own effort. Thus, the entrance into the Holy Land was specifically through Yehoshua.

To elaborate:

Even when the Jewish people were in the desert, in the times of Moshe, there was the concept of avoda (of toiling in the service of G-d), and there was the ascent from level to level in the heights of spirituality. Spiritual progress was achieved even on a daily basis. (The importance of taking further steps from day to day is reflected in the saying of the Chassid Rabbi Gershon Dov of Pahar (whose entire existence was Torah and spiritual service, both in terms of working on himself as well as with others). He was accustomed to saying every day: tomorrow[’s avoda] must be entirely different.)

The avoda associated with the generation of Moshe Rabbeinu is only gradual and incremental. The will of G-d, however, is that there should be avoda that is not gradual [but truly boundless, limitless], for in so doing there can likewise be limitless generosity from On High, not [undeserved goodness] bread of shame.

Even when there is avoda (the opposite of bread of shame) but it is not in the same measure as the hashpaa (being that the avoda is gradual, incremental, whereas the hashpaa is without limit), the hashpaa is considered bread of shame (since the avoda is not commensurate with the hashpaa). G-d wants that the avoda should not be gradual [but boundless]. Then, He can justifiably, as it were, be gracious in giving to [the Jew in this world, which is experienced most overtly by] the body (whose source is rooted in Atzmus), goodness that is without limit.

This idea also characterizes a city that was walled specifically in the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun. During the time of Yehoshua (after the histalkus of Moshe) there was a concealment and obscurity in comparison to the way things were in the time of Moshe. Thus, there was a need for avoda speicifically in a manner of exerting effort. And as a result, there was also the need for the extra protection and caution brought about through the concept of a wall.

10. Although we are speaking about something that occurred three thousand years ago, this is relevant and applicable to us today:

The question is asked: Why was there a need for the histalkus of my revered father in-law, the Rebbe? The Rebbe was a Jew who showed us open miracles. If so, he could have been granted and we could have completed together with him the number of years remaining until the coming of Moshiach!

I don’t have an answer for this question.

However, it is at least necessary to know that the fact is that “A tzaddik who passes on is present in all worlds more than when he was alive,” “meaning that even in this ‘world of action,’ the physical world, he is more present” (as explained in Igeres HaKodesh). It follows that even now the Rebbe possesses powers to go out and draw others closer to Torah, to the teachings of Chassidus. This is true of not only the general teachings of Chassidus, whose focus is on faith, but the teachings of Chassidus Chabad, as well.

The fact is though that there are fools who ask questions… The advice is to simply not answer them, to not pay them any attention, and to not be affected by them at all.

In terms of what was said above: In the times of Yehoshua bin Nun, after the histalkus of Moshe, there was the need for a wall to surround and protect the Jewish people from undesirable elements from outside, forces that seek to confuse and deter, etc. At the same time, however, it is imperative not to be trapped within the walled city. On the contrary, we must go out of the walled city in order to reach out to even those who are in the field, and bring them into the city.

(From the address of Simchas Beis HaShoeiva; Toras Menachem  5711, pg. 20-22)

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