Contact Us

Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks - 27 Elul

Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks - 27 Elul

 Email

מִדִּבְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ רַבֵּנוּ הַזָּקֵן: יִשְׂרָאֵל גּוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ, דעֶר עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹיך אִין דעֶר עֶרדִישׁעֶר וועֶלט אִיז פאַרבּוּנדעֶן מִיט ה' אֶחָד, הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרֵךְ מאַכט פוּן רוּחָנִיּוּת גַּשְׁמִיּוּת, אוּן דעֶר עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל מאַכט פוּן גַּשְׁמִיּוּת רוּחָנִיּוּת.

The following are the holy words of the Alter Rebbe, [commenting on the phrase,] “Israel, one nation in the world:”1

The nation of Israel, even as it exists in this earthy world, is connected with the one G‑d.2 G‑d creates materiality out of spirituality,3 and the people of Israel make spirituality out of materiality.4

Delving Deeply

The above teaching,5 and likewise the following two teachings of HaYom Yom, extols the Divine service of mortals in the material world. Significantly, these teachings were placed at this juncture, on the last three days before Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment, when we are most likely concerned with being inscribed “in the book of life, blessing, peace, and prosperity.” These teachings validate such a concern, for it is through a Jew’s involvement on the material plane that he becomes a partner with G‑d in creation.6

To explain: G‑d created the world because He desired a dwelling in the lower realms.7 That is, He desired His Presence to be manifest in this physical world. To accomplish this, two steps are necessary: the material world must be created, and then its corporeality must be transformed into spirituality. The first step was accomplished by G‑d; the second, He entrusts to His partner, the Jewish people.

The partnership is an equal one, for the whole of G‑d’s creation comes into existence yesh me’ayin, as something from nothing. And the Divine service of Jews transforms yesh, the self-centered perspective8 that pervades our material world, into ayin, G‑dliness.9

Both tasks transcend the natural order, and they are possible only due to G‑d’s essential power. And this essential power He also implanted within His people to enable them to accomplish their mission.10

Footnotes
1.
In the original, goy echad baaretz (I Divrei HaYamim 17:21).
2.
The phrase in the original, HaShem echad, echoes the first line of Kerias Shema (Devarim 6:4).
3.
The terms in the original are gashmiyus and ruchniyus, respectively.
4.
From the Introduction to Kuntres U’Maayon, Mahadura Kama.
5.
Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, letter #847, Heb. Vol. 3, p. 553, and letter #3769, Heb. Vol. 11, p. 34.
6.
Shabbos 10a, et al.
7.
Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Naso, sec. 7:1; see also Tanya, ch. 36.
8.
One might argue that the two activities are not entirely similar. G‑d created the world’s material substance from absolute nothingness, while His people merely overcome the materialistic tendencies within themselves and within the world at large. On the other hand, that task — not desiring material things per se — demands, in a certain way, greater fortitude than renouncing them entirely. It requires that one tap the innermost powers of his G‑dly soul.
9.
See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 6, p. 24.

The Divine Source of creation is known as ayin (“non-existence”) for two reasons: the Creator “does not exist” in the limited world of the creature’s comprehension, and “does not exist” in the same manner as the yesh (“that which exists,” i.e., created substance). See Lessons In Tanya, Vol. 4, pp. 364-369.
10.
See also the entry for 27 Teves, and the entry for 29 Adar II.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Start a Discussion
1000 characters remaining
Related Topics