Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chabad - Atzmut was placed in a body III - Likutei Sichos


  1. 1. A lot of us have a hard enough time with Hebrew, this has an awful lot of Yiddish wade through. Is there any way to focus our attention to the part we should focus on the most?

    2. Can you clarify your intent here? Are you effectively disregarding the advice of Rav Moshe Halberstam zt'l and are doing so by generalizing Breslov and Lubavitch with the rest of chassidus? Or are you specifically focused on/perturbed by these groups?

    3. Wouldn't the most effective/significant way to address this is to get teshuvos from Poskei Hador to address the halachic implication of the ideas without addressing who (a la Igros Moshe on Carlbach)? Wouldn't it be a good idea to get such teshuvos onto the "record" so to speak?

  2. What’s hard to understand is how anyone—even a total outsider and beginner to all concepts chassidic, assuming he’s being intellectually honest, and not simply a coarse scandalmonger—could interpret the sicha in the twisted way of some here if immediately in the next paragraph after the Rebbe speaks about Atzmus “as it put itself in a body,” the Rebbe explains exactly and unequivocally what he means (first is the Yiddish, then the translation, the [] is my commentary and the numbers below are the footnotes in the sicha):

    “Ve’al derech maamar haZohar, ‘man p’nei ho’adon do Rashbi, oder vi be’eIs ha’shlichus iZ afilu malach nikra b’shem Havayeh, oder vi Moshe Rabeinu hot gezogt venosati eisev.”

    “This is similar to the statement of the Zohar,(1) ‘Whose is the face of the Master [G-d]? This is the Rashbi.’(2) Or [this can be explained along the lines of the idea that] at the time he performs his mission, an angel is called by the name of Havayeh [one of the Names of Hashem].(3) Or [this can be explained along the lines of the idea that] Moshe Rabeinu said, ‘I [Moshe] will give the grass.’” [Devarim 11:15] (4)

    (1) Zohar 2:38a.

    (2) I saw baalei nigleh [Talmudic experts] questioning this [statement from Zohar], and with a tremendous noise [claiming that it contradicts the doctrine that Hashem doesn’t have a form], how is it possible, etc., etc. [and thereby seeking to dismiss the words of the Zohar].” However [this is not only a matter of Kabbolo, for], we find [a statement] similar to this also in the revealed dimension of Torah [i.e., a Talmudic source], in Yerushalmi, Bikkurim, 3:3, “‘And G-d in His holy chamber’—this refers to Rebbi Yitzchok, the son of Rebbi Lezer in the house of study of Keisrin.”

    (3) Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh end sec. 25. [One should not be surprised if a spark from a ray of the Shechinah is called [in the Baal Shem Tov’s Tzavaat HaRivash] by the name Shechinah, for we find that even an angel, which was created [and not a spark of the Shechinah], is called by Hashem’s Name in the parsha of Vayeira [“And he [Avraham] said [in reference to the angels who visited him], ‘L-rd, do not pass by your servant” Bereishis 18:3], according to the commentary of the Ramban [ibid.: “He [Avraham] called them by the Name of their Master [G-d], because he recognized that they are supernal angels, as they are called Elokim and Eilim [names of Hashem], and therefore he prostrated to the ground before them.] And as it is written [ibid. 16:13], ‘And she [Hogor] called the name of Hashem, Who spoke with her [where the verse says explicitly in ibid. 16:7 that it was an angel speaking to her],’ and there are many similar examples.]

    (4) See Likkutei Torah, Vayikra 50a. [There the Alter Rebbe writes: With this we will understand that which appears surprising at first glance concerning the meaning of [the section] “And it will be if you will surely listen,” [Devarim 11:13] which Moshe said. How did he say, ‘I [Moshe] will give the grass’ [ibid. 11:15] as reward for observing the Mitzvos] as if he is the one giving, G-d forbid, as the commentators ask. For since in Mishneh Torah [Devarim] Moshe is like one speaking for himself [as opposed to repeating the words dictated to him by Hashem]—analyze the Ramban in his preface to his commentary on the Torah—if so it should have been written ‘And Hashem will give the grass.’ Rather, the explanation is that the Shechinah is speaking from the throat of Moshe, and the spirit of Hashem [within him] was what spoke [the words] ‘I [Moshe] will give the grass,’ not that he himself was the giver, G-d forbid. The reason for this is along the lines of what was explained earlier that through the Giving of the Torah the [Jewish people] attained the level of marriage [with Hashem], which is the inclusion and complete bittul [nullification] to Atzmus Ohr Ein Sof [the Essence of Hashem’s infinite light], until their souls literally flew out from them. In a similar manner, was the constant state of Moshe Rabeinu, as he said, ‘Go [Moshe] and tell them, return to your tents, and you stand here with Me.’ [Devarim 5:30] For he took up no space, and he was not an independent entity [from Hashem] at all. Therefore he was able to say ‘I will give,’ because the word of Hashem was speaking in him from within his throat.]

    Can anyone who reads this, and spends even a few minutes looking up the sources (never mind someone who owns a copy of the sefer Al HaTzadikim, which is replete with such sources from kol haTorah kulah, and claims to have read it) that the Rebbe immediately cites, walk away thinking what the misnagdim twist the Rebbe’s words as if to be saying, chas v’shalom? I think not. The Rebbe is solidly basing his words on earlier sources, and clearly explaining what he means.


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