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Wednesday
Sep182013

THE LIVING ARIZAL

He is referred to as “Arizal HaChai – the Living Arizal,” an epithet that is not used for other great Jews, even those who only died on account of “the serpent’s bite,” and even those of whom it is said that they “did not die” at all. * Source materials compiled by Rabbi Shloma Majeski. Underlining is the author’s emphasis.

Presented and translated by Boruch Merkur

On the 4th of Menachem-Av 5749, the eve of the hilula of the Arizal HaChai, the Rebbe MH”M spoke about the 16th century master kabbalist’s unique association with the eternal life of the Future Era. In this sense, the Rebbe says, the Arizal surpasses even the tzaddikim who only died on account of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, tzaddikim who, on account of their profound righteousness, would have otherwise lived forever. In fact, in this respect, the Arizal even outshines Yaakov Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu, regarding whom our Sages teach in the Talmud that they never actually died. The Rebbe’s sicha follows.

***

The revelation of Shabbos Chazon foreshadows the revelation of the Future Era. This year, Shabbos Chazon occurs on the 5th of Menachem-Av, the hilula of the Arizal. As stated in Igeres HaKodesh siman 28, on the day of a hilula of a tzaddik, all “the service he performed throughout all the days of his life” is revealed and “brings about salvation in the midst of the land.”

The Arizal is synonymous with the inner dimension of the Torah. (Indeed, the Arizal is an embodiment of “to’ameha chayim zachu – those who savor it merit life,”* the revelation of the inner dimension of the Torah of the Future Era,** “bread from Heaven,” as discussed earlier.) In fact, it is the Arizal who said that “specifically in recent generations has it become permitted – verily, a Mitzva – to reveal this wisdom” (Igeres HaKodesh siman 26, 142b). Later on, the banner of promoting the study of the inner dimension of the Torah was upheld by the Baal Shem Tov, as well as the Rebbes, our leaders, following the directive and instruction of “spread your wellsprings outward,” which brings about “asi Mar – the approach of the master,” Malka Meshicha, the Messianic King.

As a direct result – in addition to an increase in “mishpat” [i.e., Torah, intellect] and “tz’daka” [Mitzvos associated with refining and purifying physical things, as well as the middos, one’s character traits], both of which are especially emphasized in the Arizal*** – this should inspire us to increase in all activities associated with spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward, “this wisdom – zos ha’chochma,” especially as it is expressed and richly elucidated in the teachings of Chabad Chassidus, which emphasize the three aspects of the mind: Chochma, Bina, and Daas.

The concept of spreading the wellsprings outward likewise applies to oneself: The general concept of the study of Chabad Chassidus with understanding and comprehension is expressed through the dissemination of the wellsprings of Chochma, Wisdom, into Bina and Daas, reaching as far as the middos, which are considered “outward” with respect to the mind. This Chochma must even extend to [the three “garments” of the soul] thought, speech, and action. Indeed, “action is the most pertinent.”

(From the address of Shabbos Parshas D’varim, Shabbos Chazon, 4 Menachem-Av; Seifer HaSichos 5749, pg. 619)

NOTES:

*Footnote 83: See Likkutei Sichos Vol. 15, pg. 282, where it is discussed.

**Footnote 84: To note that the concept of redemption is alluded to in his name: “Yitzchok” – for in the Future Era we shall say of Yitzchok, “for you are our father” (Shabbos 89b); “ben Shlomo” – for in the time of Shlomo HaMelech there was perfect peace and tranquility, resembling the peace of the Future Era (Shaarei T’shuva of the Mitteler Rebbe, words beginning with “Pada V’Shalom” Ch. 11).

And also to point out that in several places he is referred to as “Arizal HaChai – the Living Arizal” (an epithet that is not used for other great Jews, even those who “only died on account of the serpent’s bite,” and even those of whom it is said that they “did not die” at all – see Shabbos 55b, Bava Basra 17a; and see Likkutei Sichos Vol. 24, pg. 132 ff.) – a state that resembles the revelation of the eternal life of the future Era.

***See Footnote 87 in the original for sources.

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