Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gut Yom Tov

Painting of the Alter Rebbe by Miriam Teleshevsky - ArtbyMiriam

From Hayom Yom - 19 Kislev (copied from Chabad.org)

From a letter by my father:*

The 19th of Kislev...the festival on which "He redeemed our soul in peace,"1 and our soul's illumination and vitality were given to us, this day is Rosh Hashana for Chassidus bequeathed us by our sacred forebears,2 identical with the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov.3

"This day is the beginning of Your works,"4 the fulfillment of the true intention behind the creation of man on earth, which is to call forth revelation of the light of the inward part5 of our holy Torah.

On this day, that light is called forth, in a general way, for the entire year. It is our duty, on this day, to awaken our hearts with an innermost, elemental desire and will, in the very core of our heart, that G-d illuminate our souls with the light of His Inner Torah.

"From the depths I called to You, O G-d,"6 to elicit the depth and inwardness of G-d's Torah and G-d's mitzvot from the inwardness and essence of the Infinite (May He be blessed), to illuminate the inwardness of our souls. That all our being (meaning our total existence, the essence and the extensions)7 be devoted to Him alone, to banish from within us any of the natural traits that are evil and unworthy. Instead, all our works and affairs (our Avoda, meaning - davening and Torah and mitzvot, and our worldly undertakings necessary for the maintenance of the body), be with sincere intention for the sake of Heaven, as G-d wishes.

May G-d the Merciful Father have compassion upon us and lead us along the good and righteous path and may we "see His face in uprightness.Tehillim 11:7.

* Dated, Wednesday, Kislev 16, 5662.

The chazan does not wear a tallit for Mincha or Maariv - neither on weekdays, Shabbat and festivals, or Rosh Hashana.

Yahrzeit of the Mezritcher Maggid,8 Tuesday, Parshat Vayeishev 5533 (1772). He is interred in Anipoli.

The Alter Rebbe9 was released from his first imprisonment, Kislev 19, Tuesday, Parshat Vayeishev 5559 (1798) towards evening.

From the Alter Rebbe's letter: This indeed must be made known, that on the day G-d made for us, the 19th of Kislev, Tuesday (the day on which "it was good" was said twice in Torah10) yahrzeit of our holy teacher whose soul is in eden, while I was reading in the book of Tehillim the verse "He redeemed my soul in peace,"11 before beginning the following verse, I emerged in peace by (the act of) the G-d of peace.

* * *

A day of farbrengen and good resolutions towards establishing times to study the revealed Torah12 and Chassidus publicly, and in bolstering the ways of chassidim in true friendship.

It is customary to apportion volumes for the study of the Talmud, according to the procedure set out in Igeret Hakodesh "Hochei'ach Tochi'ach"13. In Lubavitch, since the year 5663 (1902-03) this allocation was made on Tevet 24, yahrzeit of the Alter Rebbe, there not being time on Kislev 19.

Compiled and arranged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 5703 (1943) from the talks and letters of the sixth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory.

1. Tehillim 55:19.
2. I.e. the Rebbe'im of Chabad. In the Hebrew there appears after "forebears," this phrase: "May the memory of those saintly and holy ones be a blessing for life in olam haba - the spiritual Hereafter; their souls rest in eden; may their merit protect us."
3. In the Hebrew: "...of the Baal Shem Tov - may his memory be a blessing."
4. Siddur p. 288.
5. See "On the Teachings on Chassidus, Kehot.
6. Tehillim 130:1.
7. See translator's notes, p. 122.
8. Rabbi Dov Ber, successor to the Baal Shem Tov.
9. Rabbi Schneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chassidus. For a full biography, see Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, by Nissan Mindel, Kehot, New York, 1969.
10. See Rashi, Bereishit 1:7.
11. Tehillim 55:19.
12. Talmud, halacha etc.
13. Tanya p. 633.