Out With The Old Style Of Hiskashrus
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Ginsberg

We have just celebrated the great and holy day of Yud Shvat, marking a yovel of the nesiyus of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach shlita. Mere words are insufficient to express what lies in the heart of each and every one of us:

On the one hand, we are bursting with the feeling of "Ad masai." Till when, Rebbe, till when? We cannot bear it any longer. We miss you, Rebbe, and long for the moment when we will be reunited. "As the hart longs for water streams, so does my soul long for you." There is only thing we wish for, a single request we make: "Our desire is to see our king!" When will we merit to see our king and Moshiach with our fleshly eyes, and hear his holy voice? When we will arrive at the ultimate objective of history, one that is so sublime it will more than justify all the concealments of the exile? How much longer must we wait till the full and complete Redemption, when "the glory of the L-rd will be revealed, and all flesh will see that the mouth of G-d has spoken"?

Yet even as our hearts are breaking, we know and believe in full faith that even now the Rebbe is chai v’kayam and with us as before, "a soul within a physical body," in the true home of every Jew – 770, Beis Moshiach – where he waits to redeem the Jewish people. We, therefore, continue to go to the Rebbe in 770, daven with the Rebbe, farbreng with the Rebbe, and do everything we can to bring more and more Jews along with us. We learn the Rebbe’s teachings – "the Torah of Moshiach" – and strive to fulfill all his instructions and directives. We "live with Moshiach" by learning about Moshiach and Geula, study the weekly Dvar Malchus, and spread the Rebbe’s message of the coming Redemption around the world. We know that the Rebbe continues to guide us, just as he continues to answer our questions and grant us his blessings.

We are, therefore, faced with a dichotomy: At the same time that we are devastated in one respect, we simultaneously experience an intense joy that transcends all boundaries and limitations. This is the essential and pure simcha of rejoicing in the Rebbe shlita, even if our physical eyes cannot perceive him. All of human language falls short in describing this.

Nonetheless, this joy does not in any way mitigate our pain. On the contrary, it only deepens our anguish and sense of deficiency. For in truth, nothing will alleviate the agony except the complete revelation of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach before the eyes of the world.

This year’s Yud Shvat, with its "fiftieth-year" milestone, brings to mind the Chassidic concept of the Fiftieth Gate, the Shaar ha’Nun." The first 49 spiritual levels are accessible to us under our own power. The fiftieth, however, is above all limitations, and regardless of how exalted our avoda may be, it remains out of reach. It represents the etzem (essence) that is higher than all giluyim (revelations).

This is one of the reasons (see Kuntres Purim Katan 5752) why the gematria of "choleh" (sick) is 49: The sick person has already attained 49 gates; all he needs is the fiftieth. Why, then, is he called a choleh? And why aren’t 49 gates enough for him? What is so terrible about having one less?

The answer is that the fiftieth gate is not your average level of holiness. The Shaar ha’Nun is the essence of everything, and if a person is lacking the essence, all of the giluyim are meaningless. A person may possess all of the king’s treasures, but what about the king himself? To use another analogy, what good is having everything ready for the wedding celebration, when there is no sign of the chasan?

This is similar to the famous teaching of the Baal Shem Tov on the verse in T’hillim (102:1), "A prayer of the poor man, when he bends down and pours out his speech before the L-rd": It is precisely the "poor man" who has no other requests or desires other than the King himself. The rich person, the Baal Shem Tov explains, is liable to be sidetracked by all the treasures he is shown on the way to the royal palace. The splendor and beauty may be so overwhelming that he forgets to breathe. Some people may become confused and stop in the outer courtyard, while others may make it all the way into an inner chamber. But the only one who remembers why he has come in the first place – to see the king – is the poor man, who is so far removed from a display of wealth that he is impervious to being ensnared.

Thus, while the prayer of a "wealthy person" may sometimes be less than entirely focused on the King, the prayer of the "poor man" is always directed to G-d alone.

As this applies to us: The danger exists that some people may be sidetracked by the "treasures" they find on the way to the king: the sublime depth of a maamer, the profundity of a sicha, the insight and wisdom of the Igros Kodesh, the power of the mivtzaim, or even the mesiras nefesh of shlichus. All of these, however, are only giluyim, and are not the etzem. They are indeed treasures, but one must never forget that the main objective is the king himself.

This is why it is precisely the "poor" (even in the pejorative sense – i.e., not because of bittul and self-effacement, but really and truly lacking in avoda), the "lost and dispersed," who do not lose sight of their overall goal…

I do not mean to belittle (chas v’shalom) the importance of everything the Rebbe has taught us. All of these are ways we are supposed to connect ourselves to the Rebbe, in the same way that it is impossible for a Jew to connect to Hashem other than through Torah and mitzvos. A Chassid is obligated to learn Nigleh and Chassidus, especially the Rebbe’s teachings, and he cannot be mekushar without obeying the Rebbe’s directives. Going out on shlichus is the epitome of the whole idea of the "seventh generation." Love and concern for our fellow Jew is the foundation of our avoda, and every Jew is obligated to daven and work on perfecting his midos. However…

As much as all these things are expressions of the etzem, they are not the etzem itself. When compared with the etzem, they are only giluyim, even if they are necessary to enable us to grasp the essence.

The Rebbe MH"M has explained (see Volume 1 of Likkutei Sichos, page 226) that without hiskashrus to the Rebbe, a person can learn Torah, daven, and observe mitzvos (even beyond the letter of the law) while actually being "in the very lowest depths," G-d forbid. It is, therefore, obvious that the true importance of all the above (personal avoda, mivtzaim, etc.) lies in their being methods of attachment to the Rebbe, rather than as ends in themselves.

We must not allow ourselves to be sidetracked by giluyim. Nothing can fill the void in our hearts and souls except the immediate revelation of the Rebbe shlita, the true etzem, who will usher in the Messianic Era.

The old style of hiskashrus that was valid years ago is no longer enough. A person cannot be mekushar without doing what the Rebbe wants him to do now. In the Dvar Malchus of Parshas VaEira the Rebbe explains how everyone can become "holy to the Nasi of the generation":

This is achieved by being filled and permeated with the goal of fulfilling the shlichus of the Nasi HaDor, the Moshe Rabbeinu of the generation, the first redeemer who is the last redeemer, whose primary function is to "bring about the Days of Moshiach" in actuality.

In other words, it is only when a person is "filled and permeated" with the particular shlichus the Rebbe wants us to concentrate on now – "to bring about the Days of Moshiach" – that one becomes holy to the Nasi HaDor.

Furthermore, the very knowledge that my father-in-law, the Rebbe, the Nasi of our generation, will immediately enter…and will look at each and every one of his Chassidim and mekusharim to assess his standing and situation, etc., should provide the impetus and motivation for completing and perfecting all of our deeds and service.

Consider this for a moment: As stated before, the etzem is beyond everything else, out of reach and inaccessible. Therefore, only the etzem can dictate or define how we may access it.

One of the most fundamental requirements is to make sure we are reaching the "outside," "the outermost boundary beyond which there is nothing." Our main shlichus must consist of "bringing" the Rebbe shlita to all corners of the world. All of mankind must be made aware that he is the Nasi and head (and heart), and that without a connection to the Rebbe, there is no possibility of connecting to Hashem. Hiskashrus to the Rebbe is not only a responsibility and obligation but a very great z’chus. To quote from the Rebbe’s famous letter of Gimmel Tammuz 5710:

Each and every one of us must know, that is, deeply contemplate and consider, that he is the Nasi and the head, and it is from him and through him that all physical and spiritual influences are derived, and that it is through hiskashrus to him (how to do this has already been discussed in his letters) that one becomes connected and united with the source, and the source of sources, to the very highest levels, etc.

It is especially important to bring Jews (and non-Jews) to the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh. When we approach people we should make it clear that we are not asking anything from them, but offering them help and salvation. In my opinion, this is an effective approach that really works.

On Yud Shvat of this year we learned the eleventh section of the hemshech of "Basi L’Gani." As is known, every year a different section (of a total of 20) is learned, corresponding to that particular year.

One of the concepts discussed is the service of a "tzava," or army. The purpose of an army is to win the war, to enable the king to fulfill his will and nullify everything that opposes him. To ensure victory, the king is willing to utilize all of the treasures of his ancestors, and even squander them if necessary. Not only does he distribute these treasures to his officers and commanders, but more importantly, he gives them to the simple foot soldiers so that they (we) can win the war and establish the king’s sovereignty the world over.

For this aspect of their service the Jewish people is called "Tzivos Hashem," the Army of G-d. This avoda is especially associated with the name "Tzvakos," which is one of G-d’s Names.

Significantly, the Rebbe continues, even though this is one of G-d’s names, it is not mentioned anywhere in Chumash. It is a name that was used only by the Prophets, but not by Moshe Rabbeinu. As the Alter Rebbe explained, this is because Moshe Rabbeinu and his generation were on too high a level, in the world of Atzilus, where there is no distinction between "lights" and "vessels." They therefore had no need for this name, as its function is to draw down holiness into the lower worlds (Briya, Yetzira, and Asiya). Only the later Prophets, who were on a lower level, needed to use the name Tzvakos for this purpose.

Although this may look like a descent, it is actually a very great ascent, as the purpose is to enable the mundane and lower realms (while remaining mundane and lower) to be exactly like the higher worlds, i.e., without distinction between "lights" and "vessels." In this way the very highest levels are brought down into the lowest, and the lowest can then resemble the highest. For indeed, everything is G-dliness and G-dliness is everything, and G-d can be revealed in the lower worlds with the same intensity as in the higher ones.

May we merit to perceive this with our physical eyes, with the full and complete Redemption immediately.

Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!


...the only one who remembers why he has come in the first place – to see the king – is the poor man, who is impervious to being ensnared.





The old style of hiskashrus that was valid years ago is no longer enough. A person cannot be mekushar without doing what the Rebbe wants him to do now.



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