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Shabbat, 17 Tammuz 5775 / July 4, 2015
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Tuesday Tamuz 17 5703
Fast Day. S'lichot (p. 362). Avinu Malkeinu (p. 277).
Torah lessons: Chumash: Pinchas, Shlishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 83-87.
Tanya: There still (p. 353) ...are not concluded."). (p. 355).

The difference between the first tablets (of the Ten Commandments) and the second:

In the tablets proper: The first were the "work of G-d"1 but the second, "hew for yourself."2

In the script: According to the sages in Eiruvin 54a, only the first ones had (the spiritual quality described by the words)3 "engraved on the tablets."

In the spiritual standing of the people Israel: When the first were given, they were tzadikim, for as they stood at Mt. Sinai "their defilement came to an end." But at the second tablets they were baalei teshuva, repentants.

In the spiritual standing of Moshe: When the Torah was given, Moshe received one thousand "lights" as a gift; with the sin of the Golden Calf these were taken from him and were not restored with the second tablets (except on Shabbat, as stated in P'ri Eitz Chaim).

The second tablets, however, did have this superior quality: That they were given along with halachot (laws), midrash and aggadot, etc., a "double gift of Torah-wisdom,"4 as explained in Nedarim 22b. Also, at the second, Moshe's face shone with rays of light.

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.

FOOTNOTES
1. Sh'mot 32:17.
2. Ibid. 34:1.
3. Viz. Rashi on Eiruvin 54a: Had the first tablets not been broken, the Torah would have remained forever engraved in Israel's heart, and would never have been forgotten. This immense "spiritual quality" was absent from the second tablets, although they too were engraved in a Divine, miraculous manner. See Likutei Sichot Vol. 14, p. 31 et seq., and footnote 11 ibid.
4. Iyov 11:6 according to Metzudat Tziyon. Midrash Sh'mot Raba, Ch. 46 (beg.). Viz Likutei Sichot Vol. 9, p. 248, and footnotes there.
Daily Quote
Tree, o' tree, with what can I bless you? That your fruit should be sweet? Your fruit is sweet. That your shade should be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That a stream of water should run beneath you? Water runs beneath you. The one thing left for me to bless you is: May all the plantings from your seed be like you!
  –Talmud, Taanit 5b
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