The Need For A Man Of G-d
Sichos in English

Shabbos Parshas Tzav, 8th Day of Nissan, 5751
1. Nissan is called the Month of Redemption, because the entire month revolves around Pesach, the season of our freedom. Nissan is also connected with the concept of miracles, "nissim" in Hebrew. The two concepts are interrelated, for it was with great miracles and wonders that G-d took the Jewish people out of Egypt.

The connection with miracles receives greater emphasis this Shabbos, Shabbos HaGadol (the Great Shabbos), because of the great miracle that occurred then.

What was this miracle? As the Alter Rebbe relates in his Shulchan Aruch, the firstborn of Egypt learned that G-d would slay them, so they tried to convince Pharaoh to release the Jewish people. When he refused, they revolted against him, as alluded to by the verse, "strike Egypt with their firstborn...." This represents the beginning of the miracles of the redemption.

We must understand: Why do our Sages attach so much importance to the miracle of striking Egypt with their firstborn? Why is this considered as a great miracle and the beginning of the redemption?

Also, it is necessary to understand the association between this miracle and the Shabbos, i.e., it occurred on Shabbos and is commemorated on Shabbos.

There is another significant dimension related to the above. The redemption from Egypt is associated with Moshe Rabbeinu. He was the one chosen by G-d to redeem the Jewish people from Egypt. When he requested that G-d send another person instead, G-d refused, for it is Moshe who has the power to redeem the Jewish people.

The purpose of the exodus from Egypt is for the Jewish people to appreciate G-d’s providence, as it is written, "And I will take you unto Me as a that you will know that I, G-d, your L rd, is He who took you out of the bondage of Egypt. As the Jewish people exist within our material world, they should come to an awareness of G-d and accept His commandments (i.e., the acceptance of the Torah), and through their service reveal G-dliness in the world at large (as reflected in the construction of the Sanctuary).

The Sanctuary was, however, temporary in nature, and in a more permanent manner, this goal was realized in the Beis HaMikdash. Since the first and the second Batei Mikdashos were destroyed, the ultimate vehicle for the revelation of G-dliness in the world will be the Third Beis HaMikdash, which will be an eternal structure. Then, in the Era of Redemption, the glory of G-d will be revealed and all flesh will together see that the mouth of G-d has spoken; i.e., there will be an open revelation of G-dliness which will be appreciated by all mankind.

Since the goal of the exodus was the revelation of G-dliness, it is associated with miracles that surpass the boundaries of nature. The Hebrew word for nature, "teva," also means submerged, i.e., the G-dly power invested in the world is submerged within the natural order, which obscures our appreciation of Him. Miracles, in contrast, break through the natural order and allow us to openly appreciate G-d’s infinite power.

Witnessing these miracles endows the Jewish people with strength to leave Egypt, to go beyond the boundaries and limitations of worldly existence and experience freedom. In the same manner, the future Redemption will be characterized by miracles, as it is written, "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders," wonders that will transcend the natural order entirely, and which will be greater than those that accompanied the exodus from Egypt. Furthermore, G-d Himself will show us these wonders, revealing them openly.

As mentioned, the potential for redemption is associated with Moshe Rabbeinu. The nature of Moshe Rabbeinu’s influence and contribution to the Jewish people and to the world at large is expressed in Chapter 90 of T’hillim, "A prayer of Moshe." (There is a unique connection between this psalm and the present days, as reflected in the custom, initiated by the Baal Shem Tov, to recite the psalm which corresponds to the years of one’s life each day.)

This Psalm concludes, "May the pleasantness of G-d, our L-rd, be upon us; establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands." Our Sages interpret this as a prayer in connection with the construction of the Sanctuary in the desert, offering a wish for the Divine presence to rest in the work of our hands. With this prayer, Moshe – and this was his unique contribution – established in a fixed manner, the dwelling of the Divine presence among the Jewish people. The ultimate expression of this process of indwelling will be in the Era of Redemption, with the construction of the Third Beis HaMikdash, which will be an eternal structure.

To focus on this Psalm in greater depth: The literary structure of repetition is employed both at the beginning, where it is written: "The prayer of Moshe, the man of G-d," and at its conclusion: "Establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands."

This repetition is intrinsically related to the concept of establishing G-d’s dwelling within the Jewish people in a permanent manner. For this, two qualities are necessary: a) One must have a power that is greater than the natural order, that can infuse a revelation of G-dliness into this world, which is characterized by concealment. This involves changing the nature of the world, as it were, making it into a vessel to receive G-dliness in a permanent way. b) This power must descend to the extent that it can invest itself within the world (for in order for one thing to refine another it must be on its level). Only in this way will it be able to transform the world into a vessel that can receive G-dliness permanently.

These two qualities are alluded to in the repetition of the beginning and conclusion of the above Psalm, because both these qualities were present within Moshe. Moshe served as a "connecting intermediary," binding the Jewish people to G-d.

The two qualities that an intermediary must possess are reflected in the phrase "the man of G-d." Our Sages commented, "His upper half resembled G-d; his lower half was like a man." More particularly, however, it is the phrase "Moshe, the man of G-d," which brings out these two dimensions. The name for G-d used in the above phrase is Elokim, which is numerically equivalent to the word "ha’teva," nature; i.e., Elokim refers to the level of G-dliness that brings the natural order into being. The "man of Elokim" refers to a person who has been able to establish a oneness with this G-dliness. It does, however, represent a limitation, for one unites only with the G-dliness that invests itself within nature and not with the essential G-dliness that transcends the natural order, represented by the name Havaya.

In contrast, the name Moshe refers to a higher level. The Torah states that he was given this name because "I drew him from the water." The water refers to the name Havaya, the level of Mah, the G-dliness that transcends Creation. Moshe’s soul is rooted in these high levels of G-dliness, and from these levels it was drawn into this world. Furthermore, even as Moshe existed within this world, his soul was united with its source in the spiritual realms, like fish that live in constant contact with their source of life.

Thus the phrase "Moshe, the man of G-d," represents the two qualities mentioned above: Moshe represents the connection with the levels of G-dliness that transcend nature. Since this connection continued even as Moshe existed within the material world, he had the potential to reveal G-dliness within the world and transform its nature permanently.

"The man of G-d" emphasizes the other dimension, the connection with the world which allows G-dliness to be drawn down within the world in an internalized manner, allowing for a permanent change. In this way the revelation of G-dliness, which is above nature, can be drawn into Creation.

A similar concept is reflected in the conclusion of the psalm, "Establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands." The expression "for us" in the first phrase indicates that the revelation is rooted in a level above our own. The second phrase, however, indicates that this level has become internalized within us to the extent that it is the work of our hands that is being established.

Our Sages relate the concept of repetition to the Redemption and to the aspect of eternity within the Redemption. Similarly, repetition is related to Shabbos for each Shabbos is twofold in nature, reflecting a rest from the difficulties of the world (which parallels G-dliness that is invested within nature) as well as the essential dimension of rest (G-dliness that transcends nature). The two are interconnected, as our Sages comment on the Psalm, "A song for the Shabbos day," "A song for the era which is all Shabbos and rest forever," referring to the Era of Redemption, in which the concept of permanence and eternity (the contribution of Moshe) will be given full expression.

In that era, "The pleasantness of G-d, our L-rd, will be upon us," i.e., the essential pleasure will be revealed, and it will be, "Established for us – the work of our hands."


2. Ninety is a significant number. Ninety is three times three times ten, which is a complete expression of the concept of chazaka, a threefold sequence associated with strength and permanence.

Ten represents a state of perfection (the Era of Redemption is associated with the number ten); 30 (3x10), a chazaka of that perfect state, and 90 (3x30), a chazaka of that chazaka, the fullest possible expression of this concept.

Ninety is represented by the letter Tzadi. Based on the concept that all aspects of Torah should provide us with a lesson in the service of G-d, we can also derive a concept from the name of this letter.

Tzadi means "My side," alluding to the following idea: G-d created the world with two sides: one opposite the other – the side of holiness and its opposing forces; the good inclination on the right side and the evil inclination on the left side. Since "The Torah Moshe commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov," it can be understood that a Jew’s domain is the side of Torah and mitzvos, and he has no relation to the other side at all.

Nevertheless, since a Jew still has freedom of choice, the Torah and its mitzvos are called "My side," not "My existence"; i.e., he has to use this potential and choose to identify with the Torah. The material nature of the world conceals G-dliness, allowing the possibility that a Jew will not appreciate the need to listen to the Torah’s directives.

What is the intent behind the creation of such circumstances? So that the Jew will transform the world, even those aspects that on the surface oppose the Torah and its mitzvos, and have the Torah internalized within it. The question then arises: How is it possible for a Jew to cause the Torah to be internalized within the world? He cannot be objective about the matter. On the contrary, he shares a connection with the Torah, for the existence of the Torah depends on the Jewish people, and the Torah was given only because of the Jewish people.

This question is also answered by the name Tzadi, "My side," i.e., as a Jew exists within this material world, he is standing to the side. His connection to the Torah and its mitzvos does not compel him to conduct himself accordingly. On the contrary, as mentioned above, he has free choice.

Ultimately, however, he will choose Torah and mitzvos, making them "My side." And since this identification with the Torah comes about through his own free choice, he will have the potential to cause the Torah to be internalized within the world.

(Here we see a parallel to the concepts of "Moshe, the man of G-d," described above. Since a Jew has free choice, he is "the man," he resembles mankind at large. However, since his soul has its source in the transcendent levels of G-dliness, as mentioned regarding Moshe, he has the potential to draw G-dliness down in a revealed manner within this world, making this world a dwelling for G-d and transforming his human potential so that it becomes "the man of G-d."

A question remains: The service of Tzadi, drawing G-dliness down into even the mundane and natural aspects of the world, should be complete, involving the transformation of every aspect of the world into a permanent dwelling for G-d. This must involve also the opposite side, the potential which is by nature opposed to G-dliness. How can these aspects of existence be transformed into a dwelling for G-d?

The resolution of this difficulty is based on the concept that often the letter Tzadi is called Tzaddik, adding a Kuf. A Kuf resembles the letter Hei. They both are made up of three lines, corresponding to the three realms of existence: Bria, Yetzira, and Asiya, or our three means of expression: thought, speech, and action.

The top and right lines that are joined refer to the realms of Bria and Yetzira, or to thought and speech. Each of these pairs shares a close bond. The third line, which is separated by a gap, corresponds to the realm of Asiya, or to deed, which are each separated from the pairs mentioned above by a drastic difference.

Our Sages state that the world was created with the letter Hei, which implies that there is a gap between the third line – i.e., our world – and the other two, the spiritual worlds. This gap allows for concealment, which calls for the service of Tzadi, to make the Torah and its mitzvos one’s "side."

From this level one proceeds to the service of Kuf as it exists with the realm of holiness. The left leg of the Kuf extends below the line, indicating how one’s service must be extended to even the lowest levels. In this manner, one becomes G-d’s partner in the work of Creation, refining and elevating even the lowest levels of existence and making them part of G-d’s dwelling.

3. Based on the above, we can understand the uniqueness of Moshe Rabbeinu and why it is he who was chosen as the redeemer of the Jewish people. Since Moshe was "The man of G-d," he had the potential to draw the revelation of the unlimited dimensions of G-dliness into the world. This granted him the potential to take the Jewish people out of the limitations of exile – from even the lowest limitations, the klipa of Egypt.

Similarly, it is this potential which ultimately will lead to the era when "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders," the revelation of miracles, not only miracles invested within nature, but miracles transcending the limits of nature entirely. This will be a redemption that will not be followed by exile. The entire world will be permanently established as a dwelling for G-d.

The above also enables us to understand the greatness of the miracle of "Smiting Egypt with their firstborn." The transformation of the firstborn of Egypt into a force that acted on behalf of the Jewish people represents an elevation of the lowest elements of existence (paralleling the service of the Kuf mentioned above). This – to a greater extent than the miracles that happened to the Jewish people themselves – revealed the infinite dimension of G-dliness within the limits of our material world.

For this reason, this miracle is associated with Shabbos, for Shabbos is associated with the Redemption, "The day that is all Shabbos and rest for eternity." Indeed, the commemoration of this miracle enhances the nature of Shabbos, making it Shabbos HaGadol (the Great Shabbos.)

There is also a connection between the above and this week’s parsha, Parshas Tzav. Our Sages explain that Tzav refers to an encouragement effective immediately and for all time. Here we see the eternal dimension mentioned above. The verse relates how G-d tells Moshe to command Aharon, who serves as the medium, to communicate to the entire Jewish people. Aharon is characterized by the qualities of "Loving peace and pursuing peace, loving the creations and bring them close to the Torah." The command given in the above verse encourages this service in a manner that is effective immediately and for all time.

The above is enhanced by the unique nature of the present year, a year when "I will show you wonders." As we have seen in a clear and manifest wonder, it has been a wondrous year and we can be sure that these wonders will continue and include the greatest wonder, the coming of Moshiach, as mentioned in the Yalkut Shimoni.

The miraculous nature of the present year should be reflected in the conduct of every Jew. Each one of us should increase his study of the Torah and fulfillment of mitzvos b’hiddur, in a manner that appears truly miraculous when compared to his previous efforts. There is a unique potential for this service granted by Moshe’s prayer, "May it be G-d’s will that the Divine presence rest in the work of your hands."

Moshe grants each Jew the power to reveal the service of Tzaddik in his service, for "Your people are all tzaddikim." This begins with the service of Tzadi, making the Torah "My side," giving oneself over to the Torah to the point that there is no possibility for the existence of another side. Similarly, this approach must be communicated to others, spreading the study of the Torah and the performance of its mitzvos among Jews and spreading the observance of the seven universal laws commanded to Noach and his descendants, to all mankind.

Here we see a unique working of Divine providence. The numerical equivalent of the Tzadi, when spelled out, is 104. Here we see a direct connection to resolution 104 of the Senate, which declared Yud-Alef Nissan as a national Day of Education.

The above activities should also involve an emphasis on providing each individual with his Pesach needs. One should not wait until the poor come asking. Instead, efforts should be made to discover who is needy beforehand and supply them with all that they require.

This leads to a second point. In this country, it is customary to arrange communal sedarim. Generally, however, only one communal seider is arranged and not two. It is important that all those who hold communal sedarim should hold communal sedarim for both nights.

Often, the reason while only one seider is held is that there are not enough funds for two. If necessary, the first seider should be held in a simpler manner to allow for a second seider to be held. Furthermore, there is enough time that, if the proper efforts are made, enough funds can be raised to allow both sedarim to be celebrated in the proper manner.

May we merit the ultimate fulfillment of the prayer of Moshe, that the Divine presence rest in the work of our hands in the Third Beis HaMikdash, the Sanctuary of G-d, established by Your hands.


"The man of
G-d" emphasizes the connection with the world which allows G-dliness to be drawn down within the world in an internalized manner.





This miracle is associated with Shabbos, for Shabbos is associated with the Redemption, "The day that is all Shabbos and rest for eternity."


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