Friday, April 01, 2005

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Many Days

The book HaYom Yom, from Day to Day, daily is a source of deep insights that I find very profound...while I usually post only one, here's several worth discussing this week...selected excerpts...

Thursday, 20 Adar II, 5765 - March 31, 2005

The Alter Rebbe (first grand rabbi of Lubavitch hassidus) related: Among the teachings my Rebbe (the Maggid) told me at Yechidus (private meeting between Rebbe and hossid), there was one on the verse, "A constant fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not be extinguished."

The Maggid taught: "Though fire descends from Above, spontaneously, it is a mitzva to bring from the `ordinary,' by man."

"(Man's action is) an awakening from below which engenders an awakening Above. (For the nature of spirit is that) `spirit elicits (another, responding) spirit and in turn calls forth another, yet higher spirit.' The spirit from below elicits the spirit from Above, calling forth spirit from higher and still higher."

"It is a positive mitzva to kindle fire on the altar. `Altar' refers to the `man who offers of you.' The offering itself is insufficient. Man must kindle a fire on the offering that is `of you.' This fire, Lo Tichbeh (literally, `it shall not be extinguished'), shall extinguish (Tichbeh) the Lo (the `no,' the negative)."

This is a frequent concept in hassidus, the offering of oneself, and the awakening from below drawing an awakening from Above.

Shabbos, 22 Adar II, 5765 - April 2, 2005

Birkat Kohanim (the priestly blessing by the Kohanim, priesty tribe of the Jewish people) elicits Divine Intellect.

The "raising of the hands" (by the Kohanim) is the elevation of the emotive attributes (Midot).

Their blessing of Israel, "children of kings," signifies Malchut (the attribute of kingship).

Thus we have the full configuration of the Ten Sefirot.

So the priestly blessing, performed daily during Jewish prayer with a quoram in Israel and only on holy day's during Jewish prayer outside of Israel, draws heavenly blessings down through all the sefirot.

Sunday, 23 Adar II, 5765 - April 3, 2005

My father (the 6th grand rabbi of Lubavitch is speaking) once said to a Rav (rabbi), who labored in Avoda (service of G-d) and was an especially diligent scholar: "A Rav must remember at all times and at every moment that he always stands on the threshold between being one of those who bring merit to the public and, G-d forbid, one of those who cause the public to sin - the threshold between the loftiest of heights and the most abysmal depth. All issues must touch him at the innermost core of his soul, literally, because his very soul is at stake.

The spiritual responsibility of a rabbi is very significant and must be taken with the utmost respect and concern.

Good Shabbos!

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