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Daily Study: Hayom Yom

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Thursday 20 Adar I 5703
Torah lessons: Chumash: Ki Tissa, Chamishi with Rashi.
Tehillim: 97-103.
Tanya: Even in the (p. 137)...transgression, and so on. (p. 137).

Avoda (translated as "service" and "striving") is not the striving that avoda (service) itself be true;1 rather, truth itself is an avoda, that the "fingernails" be true.2 Why does that surprise you? "He saw the attribute of Truth," the Talmud declares,3 "and he prostrated himself."

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.

Not deceptive or illusory, that it be penetrating rather than superficial, enduring rather than transitory.

2.

The "fingernails" are part of man but virtually lifeless. Truth is necessary not only in the "vital" elements of man, his thoughts, emotions, relations with others, etc. but even in the all-but-redundant, the furthest extremities.

3.

Sanhedrin 111a. When G‑d showed Moshe his Thirteen Attributes of Mercy - Sh'mot 34:6 - Moshe fell on his face, as told in verse 8. The Talmud asks which of the Attributes impressed Moshe so, and answers, the Attribute of Truth. See Supplementary Footnotes in the printed version, p. 125.

יום חמישי כ אדר א (תש"ג)
שיעורים: חומש: כי תשא, חמישי עם פירש"י.
תהלים: צז-קג.
תניא: ואפילו בבחי' - 'לט' ושנה כו'.

ניט עבודה איז אז עבודה זאל זיין באמת, נאר אמת אליין איז אן עבודה, אז די נעגעל זיינען אמת. וואס ווערסטו נתפעל? מדת האמת ראה (סנהדרין קיא. א) ונפל על פניו.

Shabbat Adar Sheini 20, Parshat Para 5703

Haftora: Va'y'hi dvar Hashem...dibarti v'assissi.

Say Av harachamim.

Torah lessons: Chumash: Tzav, Shevi'i with Rashi.
Tehillim: 97-103.
Tanya: In the light (p. 175)...explained (Ch. 23). (p. 179).

The Alter Rebbe related: Among the teachings my Rebbe (the Maggid) told me at yechidus, there was one on the verse, "A constant fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not be extinguished."1

The Maggid taught: Though fire descends from Above, spontaneously, it is a mitzva to bring from the 'ordinary,' by man.2 (Man's action is) an awakening from below which engenders an awakening Above. (For the nature of spirit is that) 'spirit elicits (another, responding) spirit and in turn calls forth another, yet higher spirit.' The spirit from below elicits the spirit from Above, calling forth spirit from higher and still higher.3

It is a positive mitzva to kindle fire on the altar. 'Altar' refers to the 'man who offers of you.'4 The offering itself is insufficient. Man must kindle a fire on the offering that is 'of you.' This fire, lo tichbeh (literally, 'it shall not be extinguished'), shall extinguish (tichbeh) the lo (the 'no,' the negative).

My Master told me this teaching ten times to engrave it in the ten powers of my soul. "You, my pupil," he said to me, "are in need of this constant fire, for yours is the duty of extinguishing the great lo (of the opponents of Chassidus). You shall extinguish the lo, and G‑d will transform the lo to hein ('yes'; assent, the positive).

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.

Also in the literal sense: Both in the mishkan desert sanctuary and the Jerusalem Beit Hamikdash a miraculous heavenly fire descended which was subsequently kept burning for all sacrifices; yet it was a mitzva to bring ordinary physical fire too.

3.

If Man's action (the "Awakening From Below") elicits only the Divine response ("Awakening From Above") on the same plane from which the fire from Above had descended spontaneously, what is the gain in Man's initiative? Hence the explanation that spirit from Below elicits spirit from Above, calling...etc. from higher and still higher. See Supplementary Footnotes, p. 125; see also Zohar III, p. 162b, and Or HaTorah for Chanuka, p. 286a.

4.

See 12 Adar II.

שבת כ אדר שני, פרשת פרה (תש"ג)
הפטורה: ויהי דבר ה' גו' - דברתי ועשיתי.
אומרים אב הרחמים.
שיעורים: חומש: צו, שביעי עם פירש"י.
תהלים: צז-קג.
תניא: ובזה יובן - (פרק כג).

רבינו הזקן סיפר: מהתורות שאמר מורי (הרב המגיד) לפני ביחידות, היתה תורה על הפסוק אש תמיד תוקד על המזבח לא תכבה, דהגם שהאש יורד מלמעלה באתערותא דלעילא, מצוה להביא מן ההדיוט, כי באתערותא דלתתא אתערותא דלעילא, כי רוח אייתי רוח ואמשיך רוח, רוח מלמטה אייתי רוח מלעילא, ואמשיך רוח מלעילא ולעילא. ומצות עשה להבעיר אש על המזבח, מזבח הוא אדם כי יקריב מכם, וההקרבה עצמה אינה מספקת, וצריכים להבעיר אש על הקרבן אשר מכם, ואש זה לא תכבה, שהיא מכבה את ה"לא".

את התורה הזאת אמר מורי לפני עשר פעמים - כדי לחקקה בעשר כחות נפשי - ויאמר לי, אתה תלמידי הנך נצרך להאש תמיד, לפי שעליך הוטל לכבות לא (של המנגדים) גדול. אתה תכבה את הלא והשי"ת [והשם יתברך] יהפוך את הלא להן.