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Published by: B. Merkur on Aug 23, 2012
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Beis Moshiach (USPS 012-542) ISSN 1082-0272is published weekly, except Jewish holidays(only once in April and October) or $160.00 inCrown Heights. USA $180.00. All other places or$195.00 per year (45 issues), by Beis Moshiach,744 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409.Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, NY andadditional ofces. Postmaster: send addresschanges to Beis Moshiach 744 Eastern Parkway,Brooklyn, NY 11213-3409. Copyright 2012 byBeis Moshiach, Inc.Beis Moshiach is not responsible or the contentand Kashruth o the advertisements.
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sHlicHus aMONGsttHe HilltOP OutPOstsOf tHe West BaNK
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releasiNG sOulsfrOM PrisON
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fOrGed iN tHecruciBle Of tHetOMcHei t’MiMiMuNderGrOuNd
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Tel: (718) 778-8000Fax: (718) 778-0800admin@beismoshiach.orgwww.beismoshiach.org
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Boruch Merkur
WeeKlY cOluMNs
ar Malchus
Insight Into T’shuva
Parsha Thought
elul:the king isin the field
the illuminaion of he thireen Aribues
of Mec i in the ed, not in the deet.A deet i at the eve of “‘a and that inot cutivated,’ hich ae thoe deed,od poken, and thought hich aenot fo G-d’ ake.” In ode to eceive the
illuminaion of he thireen Aribues ofMercy requires a leas he arousal of he
acceptance of the oke of the kinghipof Heaven, epeented b eaving (thedeet), to go at eat to the ed, to geetthe king.
Translated by Boruch Merkur
Regarding the significanceof the month of Elul, the AlterRebbe writes as follows: “In Elulit is the time of the revelation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.In order to understand this – forthe question is begged: Why thenare they regular weekdays andnot holidays? ... This, however,can be understood in light of anallegory of a king, who, beforehe comes to the city, the city folkgo out to greet him, holding areception for him in the field. Anyone who wants to go out andreceive him then may do so, andhe welcomes all of them with apleasant countenance and showsa smiling face to them all. As hemakes his way to the city, theyfollow him. Afterwards, as heenters his royal palace, no onemay enter without permission.Indeed, entrance is grantedonly to the elite of the nationand select individuals. So is thematter, in terms of the analogy’ssignificance, regarding the monthof Elul: they go to receive thelight of His blessed countenancein the field.” A (possible) explanation of the answer (to the [puzzling]fact that the days of the monthof Elul are regular weekdays)is as follows: The concept of holidays is that an increaseof light and revelation isdrawn into them, a revelationthat is not enclothed withinthem so much [but remainstranscendent]. It is on accountof this revelation that duringthese days labor is forbidden.Indeed the performance of labor,regular weekday activities, is incontradiction to receiving thislight (symbolized in the parable by the king being in his royalpalace, where “no one may enter without [permission]”). Whereasthe concept of the month of Elul entails the revelation of theThirteen Attributes of Mercy toeach and every Jew, even to one who has sinned, etc., in the place where he happens to be found:a field [i.e., not the royal place, but a place of mundane weekdayactivity]. The illumination of theThirteen Attributes of Mercyis a preparation enabling themto repent. So it is regardingthe service of love and fear [of G-d] in Elul (for then the loveand fear are loftier): they must be aroused through an initiativethat precipitates specificallyfrom below, for the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy are merely aprerequisite for Divine service.Nevertheless, the illuminationof the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy is in the field, not in the
6 Elul 5772
D’vAr MAlcHus
desert. A desert is at the level of “‘a land that is not cultivated,’ which are those deeds, wordsspoken, and thoughts which arenot for G-d’s sake.” In order toreceive the illumination of theThirteen Attributes of Mercyrequires at least the arousal of the acceptance of the yoke of thekingship of Heaven, [represented by] leaving (the desert), to go atleast to the field, to greet the king(but this service is at the level of “field” (of holiness), involvingplowing and sowing, unlike [theactivities permitted] on holidays).* * * All matters discussed inTorah, including the allegories,are precise in all their details. Butat first glance, the terminology of the Alter Rebbe is not understoodthere [in his allegory of the kingin the field]: “the city folk go outto greet him...in the field.” This wording indicates that their placeis in the city but they only now  venture out to the field. But atfirst glance (in what the allegoryrepresents) it is the opposite:Their place is in the field, and theinnovation of [the month of] Elulis that the Thirteen Attributesof Mercy shine even in the place where they are at present, in thefield.The explanation of thisquandary is as follows: Themeans by which each and everyJew perceives this illumination of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy[which are spiritual in nature]is on account of the root of hissoul. The Alter Rebbe alludes tothis in saying, “the city folk goout to greet him...in the field.”For the reason the Jewish peopleperceive the Thirteen Attributesof Mercy is because they are“city folk” [an allusion to theJewish soul as it exists in theHeavenly realm of Bria, whichis referred to as “city.” SeeFootnote 11 in original text.]It is just that for the time beingthey happen to be in the field,[a metaphor for being] in theexile of the body and the AnimalSoul. Notwithstanding thefact that they are in exile, “onecannot compare the virtue of aminister while in captivity to the virtue of a commoner” [
Parshas R’ei 32c]. Beingthat they are “city folk,” even when they are in the field, they“receive the light of His blessedcountenance,” the illumination of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.* * * Another matter that is notreadily understood from theterminology of the Alter Rebbe inthe allegory there: The wordingimplies that the original placeof the king is in the field (forhe does not write that “the king
goes out
to the field”), whereasin the meaning of the allegory,the place of the king is in hisroyal palace, but he makes aspecial trip to the field to enableeveryone to receive him.The explanation is as follows:In terms of revelations, when theking is in the field, it is a descentin comparison to how he is inhis royal palace. For when he isin his royal palace he wears aroyal crown and royal vestments,etc. Which is not the case whenhe is in the field. Nevertheless,in truth, the very fact that theking forgoes the revelation of hisroyal crown and royal vestments,and he goes out to the field toenable everyone to receive him,proves that the repentance of those who are found in the fieldis more precious and pertinentto him than his royal crown and vestments (like the example of the service of penitents, whichreaches higher than the serviceof the righteous). For Hisroyal vestments and crown aremerely [elements constitutinghis] appearance. Whereas His blessed essence is specifically inthe field, as it is known that itis specifically the lower worldsthat are a dwelling place for His blessed essence.In the allegory in discussion,the Alter Rebbe writes, “As hemakes his way to the city, theyfollow him. Afterwards, as heenters his royal palace, etc.” Atfirst glance, since His blessedessence is specifically in thefield, etc., as has been noted, why is this necessary and whatadvantage is accomplished ingoing to the city? The matteris as follows: Regarding adwelling place there are twofactors: 1) In a dwelling placeone’s entire essence is present(as in a home, for one’s essenceresides in the dwelling), andthis is accomplished through thefulfillment of Mitzvos specificallyin the realm of action. 2) Theone who lives in the dwelling isrevealed there. Thus, revelationsare also necessary.Notwithstanding the factthat this service takes place inthe month of Tishrei, the AlterRebbe writes about this matterin the allegory which elaborateson the service of the month of Elul. It could be said that he,thereby, suggests that eventhe beginning of the service of receiving the yoke [of Heaven],the venturing outwards to receiveHis blessed countenance in thefield, must be on condition andin a manner [intended to] follow Him afterwards to the city andto His royal palace, for then theycome from the service of Elulto the service of Rosh HaShanaand the Ten Days of Repentanceand etc., until the revelation of Shmini Atzeres – “They will beto You alone, with no strangersamong You.”
(Likkutei Sichos Vol. 4, Hosafos, pg. 1342 ff.)
Issue 847

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