Thursday, November 25, 2010
Yud Tes Fabrengen with Rabbi Paltiel
Yud Tes Farbrengen With R. Abba Paltiel, sheyi'
Part 1 of 3 IYH - Notes by Chunah Yosef.
Nekuda: The head of our nation, the Alter Rebbe, was attacked. This has monumental significance. We need to connect to, and protect, our head: the nekudas hachayim, the life of our life.
Different Levels in Gulus/Geulah
Good yom tov. The real hag hagiula.
There are different categories in hag hagiula. In Mitzraim, there was subjugation of our physical and spiritual on a national basis before our identity was established.
Then there was gulus Bavel. Here too, there was a national tragedy. Geulas purim, overcoming a national threat that was only a physical one. Whereas Chanukah we had a spiritual geulah, because at that time only our souls were threatened. All these are dif. levels of geulah were relevant to a lower level of our being. Yud tes is different.
The Alter Rebbe's Significance
Only one man was imprisoned, so we could think there was no national threat, not even a group was targeted: it was just one man. This man though, represented even more than the life force, he represented the Yechida. This is the essence of Jewish life that depended on his moments in prison. Just this one man needs to be in danger and we would all be in danger, not just our physical, and not just our spiritual, rather something most essential.
Do You Mind?
In Midrash, it says that there's an animal that has certain contours that entices a man. When the man follows this animal the animal kills the man but in a unique way. It takes out the brain, the body it leaves.
In today’s parsha, Yosef hatzaddik didn't get along with his brothers and he found their faults. He made animosity towards himself by telling them his dreams etc. Whatever his reason- Yosef clearly must have had a profound reason- it was obvious that it would make his brothers angry. In fact, it did, and they wanted to kill him..."because of the dreams". They were enticed to the point of intolerance. The pusuk shtait, "the stars bowed down" and the brothers were upset and Yaakov reprimanded Yosef. The brothers were angry but Yaakov "safeguarded this". It was in Yaakov’s mind, in the deep crevices, that 'this is going to happen'. Rashi says, '...he's hoping for it', not just waiting, but ‘hoping’- “Shamer es hadavar”. There was a quality of nevuah in the dreams, and this in fact compelled yosef to say it, because prophecies you relate by obligation. But why is yaakov so anticipatory about yosef ruling his brothers?
Having not seen anything in writing about this, Rabbi Paltiel’s pshat is this: Yosef was the youngest of the brothers and he had a supreme quality. He is called ‘tzaddik elyon' and ‘yosef hatzaddik’, whereas the other brothers are 'yehuda' not yehuda hatzaddik’ etc. As well, in tanach, the whole nation is called by the name ‘Yosef’, because Yosef sustained the nation. L'havdil, like noach. Chassidus explains, Yosef had a higher neshama than Yaakov (even though Yaakov's was from atzilut) and even more so than the brothers who engaged in shepharding to avoid distractions of world. Even Yaakov, in a sense didn't have a place with Yosef who was able to be in the world, doing his job in running the world, while being above it. Yaakov, the head of our nation, saw this special quality in Yosef. Now, the Jewish nation, just as an individual, is at the level where his head is.
Watch Your Head!
Yaakov went away from Esau and lied down in the place of the Mikdash. "He gathered the stones and put them under his head". Rashi says "he made a little wall," to protect himself from animals. Why didn't he protect his body? The Fred. Reb, as well as our Rebbe, explain that Yaakov was only afraid about his head. He was going to Lavan, and this was a spiritual fear. Yaakov knew the danger but still he married a woman by accident etc., he had all kinds of meshugas working for Lavan, working and traversing falsehood etc. Though, if the head stayed above water and straight, he'd be okay. So he protected his head and he was kept safe and guided.
Pick Me Up
Again, the head is the essence of the individual person and the place of the nation. The head keeps us afloat. Yaakov recognized Yosef even as a young boy as the head, and he waited for Yosef to rule and show his glory to elevate the nation. This holding the nation up to a higher standard, to Yosef's potential, this was Yaakov’s ‘hoping’.
Yud Tes Geula is the geulah of the head of the nation. There's no substitute for the head. The accusers went straight for the essence. AR was a great tzaddik and scholar, but then was an era of tremendous scholarship. AR went to Vilna to debate the Goan and meet the other great scholars and quiet the machlochis. (If we think we have machlokes now...! Then it threatened the actual lives of the chassidim. Even in the Mittle Rebbe’s time we were instructed to make our own Beis Midrashim. Until then we didn't have separate shuls. There was real danger.) Nevertheless, in the AR times, the other tzaddikim weren't threatened nearly to the same degree, only the AR. There was the Bardichiver..etc. but the threat was focused on the AR. So the geula was therefore specialized. The brain was attacked, and by big lamdim! (Manufactured by the Satan of course, but there were great scholars threatening the life of the AR). It really was an attack on yiddishkeit’s core.
Clearly reminiscent of Chanukah because chanukah also, the threat, the gezerus, were on one nekudah. It wasn’t even against torah and mitzvot. They were only against the nekudah that “G-d commanded it”. "Shabbos is a tradition, but not G-dly." When Yochanan was victorious, and they lit candles, they insisted to light with pure oil. Even though al pi din, they could light with tumedik oil. The tzibbur could have lit al pi din… But because they were moiser nefesh to safeguard the purity of Yidden, Hashem allowed them to maintain this purity even though it wasn't absolutely necessary.
This is Yud tes. There's an expression: ( Rabbi heard it in Yeshiva as from the Berditchever, but later on it was said to be from someone else) “Such a great G-d in a small book”. The nekuda comes in small quantities. (The Tanya, after all, is only 150 pages long. To be fit to be the Torah Sheb’c’sav of Chassidus…!) The Rebbe Rashab "this is the day that the life and light of our nefesh was granted to us" Pshat: Ohr v'hayus nafshenu...the chayus of our neshama?? The life of our souls?! Aren’t our souls our life? But it's possible to have a soul without chayus. That chayus is the yechida, the nekudas haemes. It can be that you do good things, but the nekudas hachayim is absent: to live as a Jew without real G-dly chayus and no taanug. The AR safeguarded the nekuda, the yechida, for the Jewish people.
When Haman wanted to destroy everybody it was horrific and we were scared. But the possibility of that happening was virtually null. It was tried throughout history, i.e. the nazis in our day wreaked havoc in an indescribable manner. But even polish and hungarian Jewry, the most affected, were able to be restored. Gerer, Belzer, Obstracheber…, all were able to be restored. Hashem makes a tzedakah that the Jews are spread all over. The Americans were untouched, though threatened and suffering, survival was never really threatened. But when you attack the nekudas hachayim, you're attacking the survival. All you need is to get that little brain out, and leave everything else alone.
Jo Knows Life
We are given this understanding in class, with the Hebeshter's help, and we should be able to recognize the attack on the nekuda. We comprehend the significance. When you take the nekuda out, and all else stays in place, in actuality, nothing else really remains. This is how yud tes touches us directly, all of us. The nefesh we have, but the Chayus! to appreciate the nefesh is alive. I can dance, and sing, eat, but does it have G-dly significance? We want Truth!
We who are aware and in close proximity to Rabbi, should draw real chayus from these concepts, we should have Living Life. Not existential life, but living life. That’s a different life. We're not just here, we're directly reflective and connected to the living G-d. It's above vulnerability because it's the essence. I’Y’Hashem, this leads to the real geulah. Hashem takes us out of the vulnerability of the world, because we have the essence, we have permanence. Like Merel (?) would say, "it's tied to the top, so we don't fall."
Start a new year, a lebedic yar! With renewed dedication to learning chassidus and pursuing the understanding and let it be our guiding light for our life and activities, relations, friends and family and to stay a bit above the ground.
To be continued...