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Break Through
By Rabbi Yekusiel Menachem Rapp

Chaf-Ches Nissan, seven years ago, the Rebbe informed us that we have to make the preparations for the final Redemption. We became active partners in the realization of the prophecies about the Era of Moshiach. Simultaneously, the Rebbe gave us the recipe with which to carry out this task: oros d’tohu b’keilim d’tikkun (i.e., the harnessing and control of tremendous energy and enthusiasm).

In discussing the latter concept most people emphasize the second half of the recipe, keilim d’tikkun, control and order, but the chiddush (innovation) is actually in the first half, energy and enthusiasm. Indeed, keilim d’tikkun is a given amongst Chabad Chassidim, who traditionally personified intellectualism. Now we must adopt a whole new strategy and approach the matter in an entirely different light, the oros of tohu.

When we read the story of Peretz, whose descendent became the father of royalty until Moshiach, we find that he also acted somewhat tohu’dik. When Peretz was about to be born, he burst forth past his brother, who was expected to be born first. The midwife reacted in shock, “ma paratzta alecha paretz?” (Why have you made such a breach for yourself?)

Here we see the nature of those who want the Redemption. Since Peretz’s birth has to do with the ultimate coming of Moshiach, he had no time to stand on ceremony. He bursts forth. He teaches us that in anything having to do with Redemption we must act in a way of “bursting forth.”

It does seem a bit strange, it seems to go beyond the bounds of good taste, but this is the way to do it. And this is the chiddush in the work of preparing to greet Moshiach. Within us must burn the fire of oros d’tohu, and our job is to draw these oros down into keilim of tikkun so that they too can accept these oros.


When we examine the birth of the first Peretz and then the subsequent generations, we discover that this trait was passed along, starting with Nachshon ben Aminadav, Chur the son of Kaleiv, Dovid HaMelech, and finally the Rebbe MH”M.

A few moments before the sea split, one of Peretz’s descendents did something that went down in history. Nachshon jumped into the water, confident that Hashem would take care of him. His deed is used as a symbol of uncalculated pritza (breaking through). He didn’t take logical consequences into account, not the fact that greater people than he were there who didn’t dare do what he did, not even the simple fact that he could drown. He made no such calculations because the nature to burst forth was inherited from Peretz.

Chur, the son of Kaleiv and Miriam, did not act rationally during the creation of the golden calf. Logic could have convinced people not to refuse the throngs who wanted to form a calf, but not Chur. He descended from Peretz (as it states in Divrei HaYamim I) and was raised on Divine service that is above reason. He refused their demands and was killed.

Aharon HaKohen, on the other hand, the symbol of peace, tried to appease the people until Moshe would return, and the Golden Calf was the result. Indeed, there are times when peace can engender a Golden Calf! There is no question that being a lover of peace is positive, but there are critical times for the Jewish people when what’s needed is pritza.

Under these circumstances, when belief in Moshe Rabbeinu lies in the balance, we must come through with self-sacrifice, as Chur did.


Dovid HaMelech, who descended from Peretz (as it says at the end of Rus), brought the aron for the first time to Yerushalayim. He believed that bringing the aron was a suitable preparation for the building of the Mikdash, and if they were found to be worth, this Mikdash would exist eternally and would usher in the final Redemption. For this reason he danced before the aron.

Of course, this was not the regular conduct of a king. In fact, his own wife, Michal, daughter of King Shaul, was embarrassed by his conduct and told him so. She said that Dovid “was exposed today before his subjects as one of the emptyheaded.”

What did Dovid say in reply? “I rejoiced before Hashem, and I shall behave even more humbly than this, and I shall be lowly in my eyes. And among the maids of whom you spoke, I will be honored among them.”

He did not try to explain the logic of his actions. He also did not attempt to convince her that it wasn’t so bad. No! He knew that he hadn’t behaved in a manner that befits a king, but when it involved preparing for the Redemption, he did not make calculations. He reverted back to the behavior he inherited from his great grandfather, and broke through the limitations of intellect into the realm of tohu.

Michal heard what he said, but remained unconvinced; she looked down at him in her heart. Why? Didn’t she understand the loftiness of the moment?

The Rebbe explains (Likkutei Sichos vol. 1 p. 228) that Michal, the daughter of Shaul, inherited her father’s intellectual approach, the insistence of finding reasons for things. Chazal say that Shaul followed reason, and that neither he nor his children could operate on a level beyond reason, even if reason itself would dictate the need to go beyond reason.

The Sages say that Michal put on tefillin. The Rebbe says that since the Sages pointed this fact out to us, this indicates that she was of the spiritual stature to do so. She had achieved perfection in that which tefillin are meant to accomplish, the subservience of the mind and heart. But it was all done logically. This perhaps can be seen hinted at in her name, “Michal,” meaning kli ha’machil (a containing vessel). If you rearrange the letters of “Michal” it spells “keilim.” She had keilim d’tikkun, but lacked oros d’tohu.

[The numerical equivalent of “Michal” is 100,  which indicates perfection. Chassidus explains that 100 expresses the spiritual perfection of the midos as they are in nature, but the perfection of being beyond nature has not yet been achieved. The concept of being beyond nature is expressed by the number 101. “Michoel,” the angel of chesed (kindness), has the numerical equivalent of 101. The additional letter Alef, which equals one, refers to the Alufo Shel Olam, Hashem, the Master of the Universe, as He is beyond nature].

Michal did not understand, but Dovid did. To honor the Torah, to honor Hashem, and in honor of the Redemption, unbounded joy is needed, joy that might jeopardize our honorable appearance, for this is the only way to bring Moshiach, as it says about Moshiach, “the poreitz rose up before them.”

The fact is that Michal, who did not relate to Dovid HaMelech’s behavior, and even dared to mock it, was punished: “she had no child until the day she died.” The simple meaning of this outcome is that even when our nature does not allow us to digest such conduct, and even if the fact that the king himself acts in this way still does not convince us, there is no excuse to mock another Jew who does act in this way; if they are ridiculed, the punishment is barrenness.

The ability to give birth symbolizes the continuity of the human race, and Michal’s punishment teaches us that the future of the Jewish people is predicated upon behavior that defies nature. This is especially so when we are talking about Michal the wife of Dovid, who — if not for this flaw— might very well have given birth to a son from whom Moshiach would descend.

Based on the above we can understand the conduct of the Rebbeim, who stem from Beis Dovid, who always acted according to the principle of “l’chatchila aribber” (the total transcendence of obstacles). This, of course, is especially true of the Rebbe MH”M, whose entire modus operandi is based on “l’chatchila aribber.” Starting with the vigorous motions the Rebbe used to encourage singing — not only on Simchas Torah or the like, but on weekdays as well — then the Rebbe’s demanding his shiluchim to act “l’chatchila aribber” in all Mivtzo’im, and then, of course, in the task of receiving Moshiach. We received directives which can easily be categorized as belonging to the realm of tohu — from utter joy in connection with the imminent coming of Moshiach, to the arranging of celebrations to greet Moshiach. Dozens of big projects in hafatzas besuras ha’Geula merited the Rebbe’s blessings because the Rebbe demands that we act with oros d’tohu.

I’ll take this opportunity to remind people about the dancing that was organized from time to time by the “Matteh Shira v’Zimra l’Kabbolas Pnei Moshiach,” established in response to the Rebbe’s saying that the task today is to achieve “pure joy connected with the coming of Moshiach and the Redemption.” When Jews rejoice about the imminent Redemption, Hashem has no choice, so to speak, but to bring the Redemption — so it won’t be the expression of joy in vain (like the story of the boy who made the blessing “borei pri ha’eitz” so that his father would have to give him an apple).

Dr. Rosen told at the large kinus at 770 on 3 Av, 5754, that he heard the Rebbe say the words “shira v’zimra” repeatedly after 27 Adar. May we merit the full revelation with joy and dancing, and dance together with him in the Beis HaMikdash now!


Keilim d’tikkun is a given amongst Chabad Chassidim. Now we must adopt a whole new strategy and approach the matter in an entirely different light, the oros of tohu.  




Michal did not understand, but Dovid did. To honor the Torah, to honor Hashem, and in honor of the Redemption, unbounded joy is needed, for this is the only way to bring Moshiach.





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