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The 50th Gate
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg

 This Yud Shvat marked fifty years of the Rebbe MH”M shlita’s leadership, which began immediately after the histalkus (passing) of the Rebbe Rayatz, for the world cannot exist even for a moment without a Rebbe in a physical body in this physical world. At the same time, we are entering the yovel year of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in which the Rebbe officially accepted the Chabad leadership in the eleventh year (11 Shvat 5711).

The 50th year reminds us of the 50th gate, which far surpasses the other 49 gates. Although one can attain the 49th gate through one’s own efforts (as we count during Sfira), the 50th gate cannot be reached by any worldly effort. It is above all limitations; no action or avoda can reach it. It is the essence that is beyond all revelations, which is why nothing can grasp it.

That is why “choleh” (a sick person) is numerically equivalent to 49 (as it is explained in Kuntres Purim Katan 5752), like someone who has achieved 49 gates and lacks “only” the 50th. Why is such a person sick? Why aren’t 49 gates enough? So what if he has one gate less?

The answer is that the 50th gate is not just another gate. It is the essential point of it all. If I lack the G-dly essence, of what use are all the revelations? I may have all the king’s treasures, but where is the king himself? Everything may be ready for the wedding, but of what use is it when I don’t see the chasan himself?

The Baal Shem Tov explains the verse in Tehillim, “Tefilla l’ani ki yaatof, v’lifnei Hashem yishpoch sicho” (“a prayer of the pauper, he pours out his speech before Hashem”) that it is specifically the pauper who has no requests other than wanting the king himself (“he pours out his talk before Hashem”). The rich man can be distracted by the treasures he sees on the way into the king’s chamber. Some people stop in the outer courtyard, eyeing the precious possessions, and lose interest in proceeding further. That’s where they stay. Others go further, yet they remain in the inner court where they see even more dazzling treasures. Some manage to enter the palace, but are left breathless by the sights they see there, and go no further. Some go even further inside to the chamber where the king himself sits, but all the pomp and majesty surrounding the king distract them from the king himself. That is why the prayer of the rich man is not always directed to the king himself. The pauper, however, cannot be distracted. He knows nothing about the value of treasures, therefore they do not interest him. He wants only the king himself.

Those who are rich in the spiritual sense may be distracted by the precious treasures they encounter en route to the king’s chamber. Upon encountering all the revelations of the seventh generation — the wisdom and depth of the Rebbe’s maamarim and sichos, the wonders of the Igros Kodesh, the excitement of mivtzaim, and even the self-sacrifice involved in shlichus — the rich man runs the risk of forgetting about the essential point itself and remaining satisfied with all the precious treasures surrounding him.

The term “pauper” here is not meant in the positive sense, such as one who has great bittul. Rather, it refers to one who is lacking. It refers to those of us who do not study or daven properly, or those of us who do not succeed in our shlichus as expected. On account of our great deficiencies and the fact that our standing is not quite optimal, we paupers cannot be mollified with revelations, as glorious as they might be.

Naturally, this should not be taken the wrong way, ch’v. I certainly do not minimize the importance of those holy things mentioned above, which we do unceasingly. Indeed, they are the only means to connect with the Rebbe (just as one cannot connect to Hashem without Torah and mitzvos). We must learn Nigla and Chassidus, especially the Rebbe’s teachings. It is impossible to be mekushar to the Rebbe without fulfilling his directives. Going out on shlichus is the mission that characterizes the unique role of the seventh generation. The love and caring for every Jew is the foundation and pillar of everything we do. And we must have the avoda of tefilla and tikkun ha’midos, etc.

Relative to the essence, however, all the above are called revelations. They are the means by which we reach the essence, but they themselves are not the essence. The Rebbe states (Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 1, p. 226) that without hiskashrus to the Rebbe, a person can learn, daven, do mitzvos, and even go beyond the letter of the law, yet still be sunk in the abyss, r’l. Despite the importance of these actions, and the fact that through them one connects with the Rebbe, they are merely revelations relative to the essence itself.

Thus, we paupers cannot consider delving into anything that will attempt to distract our attention from the essential point and focus. No substitute, as wonderful as it might be, interests us, nor can it begin to satisfy us and our soul’s desire. We have but one desire, and that is to see our king now, revealed to all and bringing us all to the final and complete Redemption, bringing us to the essence.

We cannot think we can continue with the style of hiskashrus prevalent years ago, which was also the “seventh generation,” and scream “Rebbe” without emphasizing the matter the Rebbe demands of us now. The Rebbe clarifies how we can become sanctified to the nasi ha’dor as follows: “…through being permeated with fulfilling the mission of the nasi ha’dor, Moshe Rabbeinu of the generation, the first and final redeemer, whose main task is to actually ‘bring about the days of Moshiach.’” In other words, only through fulfilling the mission the Rebbe asks of us now, “to actually bring the days of Moshiach,” only through this do we become “kadosh [sanctified] to the nasi ha’dor.” When we try to add our explanations, as true and correct as they may be, and even scream out “etzem” [essence] without fulfilling this shlichus, it is impossible, ch’v, to be (openly) “kadosh to the nasi ha’dor.”

And the Rebbe adds, “The knowledge that the Rebbe, my father-in-law, nasi ha’dor, will immediately enter...and look at every one of the Chassidim and mekusharim to examine their standing and situation, etc., inspires and moves us to finish and perfect all our work.”

Since the essence is beyond everything, only the essence can dictate how it is still possible to connect and be battul and attain it.

One of the main directives concerning this avoda has to do with bringing the “wellsprings,” the source itself, to the “outside.” The Rebbe tells us that it is appropriate on the days following the yahrtzeit, especially the Shabbos after Yud Shvat, to explain the Rebbe Rayatz’s mission to our family. He said to visit shuls and places where youth congregate and talk about the Rebbe Rayatz’s Torah, and describe his ahavas Yisroel. He said to explain his takanos of saying Tehillim and Chumash with Rashi, and where appropriate, Tanya, and to convey the Rebbe’s confidence in youth, etc.

All publicity relating to the work of the Rebbe Rayatz must be presented as it has manifested in our generation. As the Rebbe says in the very same Dvar Malchus, this era is “the continuation of his nesiyus after his histalkus (beginning from the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in the eleventh year [5711]).”

Yes, it is true, we all feel the cry welling up in the very depths of our soul, yet this is not sufficient. We must direct all our energies to the realm of action. We must go out into the streets and proclaim, in every possible manner, that the Rebbe is alive and every Jew has the privilege and responsibility to connect to him. The most obvious way to do so, which will appeal to all Jews, is through the Igros Kodesh. This way you are not asking for anything, but rather offering assistance and the opportunity for each individual to experience a personal salvation in the areas of life most important to them. We must reach every single Jew in all four corners of the world. That is how we express our anguished cry of ad masai?! That is how we will merit to celebrate the ultimate coronation of Melech HaMoshiach. We will all sing before him the song we have already begun to sing in these final moments of darkness:


Upon encountering the revelations of the seventh generation, the “rich man” runs the risk of forgetting about the essential point and remaining satisfied with all the precious treasures surrounding him.






The Rebbe tells us that it is appropriate on the days following the yahrtzeit, especially the Shabbos after Yud Shvat, to explain the Rebbe Rayatz’s mission to our family.


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