March 14, 2014
Rabbi Shloma Majeski in #917, #918, #919, 19 Kislev, 22 Shvat, 5 Teives, D'var Malchus, Moshiach & Geula, Rebbetzin Chaya Muska, Truma, chai v'kayam, controversy

The topic at hand is “Come let us consider the accounting of the world,” the consideration of a man [about mortality, etc.] – whether it must come to pass, or when it must come to pass. * From the address of Motzaei Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Truma, 2 Adar, 5748, in the Rebbe’s home. * From Chapter Six of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis.)

Translated by Boruch Merkur


1. Reflection [in the wake of the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka] draws to mind what the leader of our generation [the Rebbe Rayatz] related – that the Tzemach Tzedek was approached and was told, “Come let us consider the accounting of the world” [i.e., he was being asked to prepare a will to organize his affairs in the event of his passing].

Upon hearing this, I became alarmed: Why is the Rebbe [Rayatz] talking about this now? – especially as it is connected with an indiscretion on the part of those who said this to the Tzemach Tzedek [which suggests that the story’s significance overshadows the concern of mentioning their indiscretion].

The following thought provides the basis for the answer. The fact is that after they approached the Tzemach Tzedek with their concern, “come let us consider, etc.,” he lived a long and fruitful life, expanding his role as Rebbe, advancing his leadership, and furthering the mission of spreading the wellsprings, in all the high profile concerns he was devoted to, which even got the attention of gentiles.

Parenthetically, as discussed earlier regarding Yud-Tes Kislev (which initiated the spreading of the wellsprings outwards), the Alter Rebbe, baal ha’geula, emphasizes in his correspondence how his redemption was seen as miraculous and great even “in the eyes of all the ministers and all the nations,” going so far as to mention this point three times.

The very fact that news of the liberation of the Alter Rebbe reached gentiles is because his redemption on Yud-Tes Kislev is connected with the true and complete redemption, when there will be “and kingship shall be to G-d” – G-d’s reign will be [complete, having dominion] upon even all the amei ha’aretz, all “the people of the earth.” Thus, the redemption of the Alter Rebbe on Yud-Tes Kislev, which was the preparation for – the forerunner of – the true and complete redemption, must extend to “all the nations.” It is for this reason that the Alter Rebbe emphasizes this point repeatedly.

Returning now to the story with the Tzemach Tzedek: Similar episodes took place with the other Rebbes; they too were confronted with the concern (of “come let us consider, etc.”). But it is interesting to note that it actually added to their longevity, in the literal sense. Anyone who has taken the time to contemplate (or those who at least now consider) these events that took place with our Rebbes, our N’siim, will immediately notice this fact – both from the perspective of the G-dly Soul’s intellect, as well as the intellect of the Animal Soul.

Similarly in our case [regarding the Rebbe’s concern for his own personal affairs], the very fact that this story was told is a sign that “come let us consider the accounting of the world” must be “taken to heart.”

(In fact, since this concern – “come let us consider, etc.” – is reaching gentiles [attorneys, for example, advising of the need to prepare a will, etc.], the response must likewise be directed to them.)


2. The response to this concern (“come let us consider, etc.”) is obvious. Nevertheless,  I shall articulate the answer verbally in order to eliminate any shred of doubt (even the doubt the comes from Amalek (“safek – doubt” being numerically equivalent to “Amalek”). Of course, there is sometimes the possibility of doubt even in the realm of holiness. That is, in Torah [even after exhaustive Talmudic debate] many issues remain in doubt, and this too becomes part of Torah. (However, the “light of Torah” illuminates even these doubts.) The response to “come let us consider, etc.” casts away even these doubts, doubts that are higher than Amalek.

Indeed, the answer is clear (founded on the words of our holy Torah, the Torah of Truth and the Torah of Life) – that in all matters of this sort, we turn to a beis din tzedek of Chassidishe rabbanim.

There was a time when special mention had to be made that together with a rav one should also consult with a mashpia. The rav would teach the revealed part of the Torah with the practical halachic ruling on the matter, and the mashpia teaches the inner dimension of the Torah with the practical application derived from it. However, when speaking about Lubavitcher rabbanim, they have both of these aspects at once, to the point that it becomes a single, unified quality.

(As explained in the teachings of Lag B’Omer on the concept of “Machatzti va’ani erpa – I have wounded/divided and I shall heal,” Rashbi removed the barrier between the inner dimension of the Torah (nistar d’Torah) and the revealed dimension of the Torah (nigla d’Torah). The same cohesion is apparent in the teachings of Chabad. That is, through the intellectual faculties – Chochma, Bina, and Daas – the inner dimension of the Torah becomes plainly accessible, palpable, in a manner of “isparnesun minei,” getting “sustenance” through it. The intent here is not only as Torah is internalized within the Chochma, Bina, and Daas of the G-dly Soul, but also within the Chochma, Bina, and Daas of the Intellectual Soul, extending even to the Animal Soul. In this manner, Chochma, Bina, and Daas interact with all aspects of the body, extending even to physically itself, in the literal sense.)

[Continuing now with the topic of the vital rule of rabbanim in the event of “come let us consider, etc.”] After the beis din tzedek is consulted, we follow the ruling delivered by the most prominent rav among them.

Notwithstanding the fact that there are matters that – in concern for modesty, or for other reasons – cannot be discussed with three people, whomever they may be, in that case, Torah advises that we speak primarily with either the greatest of the three, or [any] one of the three, and he becomes the agent to convey details of the matter to the other two. Following their deliberation, this same rav presents the answer in the name of the three Chassidishe rabbanim.

Since the answer comes from a rav who is permeated with Chassidus, it is fully authoritative. It is a decision formulated from the perspective of the inner dimension of the Torah, and it is applied to real life issues (being a Torah ruling according to nigla d’Torah), including materialistic concerns, to the extent that it even has authority over amei ha’aretz [i.e., Gentiles].

(Although amei ha’aretz of their own accord have no connection with the inner dimension of the Torah, since in the Future Era “the occupation of the entire world will be to know G-d…for ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d’” (as Rambam concludes in Mishneh Torah), even amei ha’aretz will be occupied with “the knowledge of G-d,” in a manner reminiscent of what is said regarding Jews, “Know the L-rd of your father”).


3. Given the length of this digression, the main point may be lost; the underlying message may be obscured, etc. We shall, therefore, reiterate:

The topic at hand is “Come let us consider the accounting of the world,” the consideration of a man [about mortality, etc.] – whether it must come to pass, or when it must come to pass.

Or, perhaps both scenarios shall coexist, the precedence of which is seen in Moshe Rabbeinu – that even during his lifetime (and even prior to Mattan Torah, “Moshe received the Torah at Sinai”), Moshe gave over the mission of “Go wage war against Amalek” to his disciple, Yehoshua bin Nun.

(Similarly regarding receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai (the principle function of Moshe Rabbeinu): “Moshe received the Torah at Sinai and (right away, as it was taking place) he entrusted it to Yehoshua.” Then, as time passed and Moshe received more and more of the Torah (“Moshe received”), Yehoshua received more and more as well (“and he entrusted it to Yehoshua”). From Yehoshua it was passed down from generation to generation until it reached Anshei K’nesses HaG’dola).

[In any event, irrespective of which scenario actually unfolds] the answer is clear: We must pose our questions to three Chassidishe Rabbanim (be it to one of them or to all three at once), and the most prominent of them (or all three together) will articulate the resolution.

That is to say that in addition to the fact that we have recently been discussing fulfilling the words of the Mishna, “Assign for yourself a rav” [for halachic issues], and likewise, “Salvation comes through much advice” [in business matters] (and for medical advice, one should, of course, ask doctors, as our Sages say on the verse, “And he shall surely heal”), the same applies (in fact, more eminently and prominently) with regard to the concept of “Come let us consider the accounting of the world” (although it has no connection to the above protocols): The answer is clear, in a manner that leaves no room for doubt. Namely, direction on the matter is under the auspices of three Chassidishe rabbanim.

The same principle applies when we are speaking about various cities or countries. In each place, there is a vaad of Chassidishe rabbanim (with regard to the state, the neighborhood, or the entire country) – “each river flows where it will.”

(To be continued be”H)

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