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Wednesday, 26 Nissan 5776 / May 4, 2016

Hayom Yom

Hayom Yom

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Shabbat Nissan 26, 11th day of the omer 5703

Bless Rosh Chodesh Iyar; say the entire Tehillim in the early morning. Day of farbrengen.

Haftora: Halo kivnei kushi'im.

Torah lessons: Chumash: Acharei mot, Shevi'i with Rashi.
Tehillim: 119, 97 to end.
Tanya: Ch. 43. Concerning (p. 227)...enlarged upon later. (p. 231).

From a sicha of my father: Chassidus demands that one "...wash his flesh (Hebrew, et b'ssaro) with water, and clothe himself in them (the priestly robes)."1 The intellectual2 element of Chassidus must thoroughly cleanse the flesh and rinse away the habits of the flesh. The habits are alluded to by the word et ("and") in the quoted verse, signifying "that which is incidental to the flesh," the habits developed by the body. Only then can one clothe himself in the "sacred garments."

Pondering Chassidus, discussing Chassidus, and the practice of Chassidim to meditate before davening - these are "sacred garments," garments that were given from the heights of sanctity. But it is the person himself who must "wash his flesh with water..." The garments of the soul are given to the individual from On High. But washing away unwholesome "incidentals" that arise from bodily nature and making the body itself "flesh of sanctity," this is achieved solely by man's own efforts. This is what Chassidus demands; it is for this ideal that our great teacher (the Alter Rebbe) devoted himself totally and selflessly. He opened the channel of total devotion,3 sacrifice, for serving G‑d through prayer, to be bound up with the Essence of the En Sof, infinite G‑d. Chassidus places a chassid face to face with the Essence of the En Sof.

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
2.
Chabad, by its name and philosophy, is a system based on intellect. The subject matter of the literature and doctrines is highly complex and abstract, challenging the finest intellect. Intellect has the power to dominate emotions, creating or uprooting them, and controlling man's behavior. (Another vital element in the Chabad system is developing the emotions, primarily ahava and yir'a - vaguely translated as love and fear or awe - exercised particularly in davening.) Here, in this text, the intellect is to be the "cleansing agent," preparing the chassid for davening. Note the emphasis in the text on the complementary functions of what man is given and what man does.
3.
Mesirat nefesh, utter self-sacrifice.
Daily Quote
One father can feed ten sons, but ten sons can't feed one father
  –Nofet Tzufim
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