"He redeemed my soul in peace from the battles against me, for the many were with me."1

On this verse, the Talmud comments:2 "[With regard to] anyone who involves himself in Torah study and deeds of kindness and prays communally, the Holy One, blessed be He, says: 'I consider it as if he redeemed Me and My children from among the nations of the world.'"

This concept is derived from the verse "He redeemed my soul in peace from the battles against me," [for that verse uses the term "in peace" (בשלום)] which refers to Torah study. For [Torah study brings about a twofold dimension of peace (ב' שלום),] as our Sages comment:3 "Everyone who involves himself in Torah study brings about peace in the heavenly company and peace in the earthly company." In particular, this is relevant in light of the importance of the concept of peace, as highlighted in the maamarim of the Rebbeim concerning the war against Midian.4 "Peace in the heavenly company and peace in the earthly company" refers to peace within the G‑dly soul and peace within the animal soul. And in a larger sense, [Torah study] brings about peace in the world at large, as Rambam states:5 "The entire Torah was given to establish peace in the world." And our Sages state:6 "[Torah] scholars increase peace in the world." For through Torah study, they bring about peace, and, indeed, an abundance of peace.

The term "peace" also alludes to deeds of kindness, for through deeds of kindness, peace is established between the benefactor and the recipient.7 And the phrase "the many" refers to communal prayer [which involves] "the many." Through these activities, "the Holy One, blessed be He, says: 'I consider it as if he redeemed Me and My children from among the nations of the world.'" [Such peace] is drawn down to this material plane [and becomes] actual reality through the involvement in these three activities, Torah study, Divine service (prayer), and deeds of kindness, for they are "the three pillars on which the world stands."8 Through these activities, [the Divine presence and the Jewish people] will actually be redeemed, with the building of the Third Beis HaMikdash in the third redemption.

The connection to the number three can be understood from the statements in Tanya9 that a microcosm of the Future Redemption was already experienced at the time of the Giving of the Torah. For the Torah was "given to a threefold nation, through the one born third, on the third day [after Mt Sinai was set apart], in the third month,"10 and The Torah itself is a three-fold light.11

[The significance of the number three stems] from its connection to the concept of peace.12 Thus when there are two people [who differ], peace has to be established between them and that is accomplished by the third person. Moreover, [the third person] fuses the three into a single entity, as we see in the functioning of a court on this earthly plane. For a court is comprised of three judges and they are considered, [not as three individuals, but] as a single entity, a court. [As a single entity,] they render halachic rulings governing actual conduct, including the ruling that [will mark] the end [of the exile]: "all the appointed times [for Mashiach's] coming have passed and the matter is dependent solely on teshuvah."13 Teshuvah requires [merely] "one hour... and one moment"14 and then, the descendant of David (Mashiach) will come, in our time; "coming with the clouds of the heavens."15 All of this is achieved through efforts in the three activities of Torah study, Divine service (prayer), and deeds of kindness.

There are three levels of being "redeemed in peace." The first level involved, as did the "redemption in peace" that occurred in David's time, an actual war; there was a battle between David and Avshalom. [True,] "The many were with me." As the Talmud Yerushalmi states,16 even Avshalom's men prayed for David's wellbeing. Nevertheless, an actual battle was necessary and there was a question concerning David's status17 when he was not in his city, Jerusalem, at the time of the battle, when he was fleeing from Avshalom.

In the above instance, the redemption was through battle. There was a higher level of redemption at the time of King Shlomo, as explained at length in the maamar entitled Padeh BiShalom delivered by the Mitteler Rebbe.18 For at the time of Shlomo, it was not necessary to wage wars as David did. Although the wars waged by David were "the wars of G‑d," nevertheless, G‑d told him:19 "You have shed much blood...." Therefore, "you will not build the House; instead, the son who will emerge from your loins...."20 Now, a son's power derives from the father; he "emerges from [his] loins." Moreover, [in this instance,] the building of the Beis HaMikdash came about through the preparations of David [he drew up its plans] "by the hand of G‑d Who granted me understanding"21 — to the extent that it was called by his name.22 Nevertheless, the actual building was accomplished by Shlomo, for he was "a man of peace... peace and tranquility [was] granted to Israel in his days."23 During Shlomo's days, the entire world was conquered, but this was not accomplished through war, but through peace. All of the nations brought taxes to him on their own volition. They conveyed to him silver, gold, and jewels while he sat on "the throne of G‑d,"24 in Jerusalem, the holy city "the city of the great King," in Eretz Yisrael, the Holy Land.

As explained in the maamar cited above, the ultimate expression of being "redeem[ed] in peace" will come, however, in the ultimate future through Mashiach, who will be a descendant of David and Shlomo. [Initially,] he will "fight the wars of G‑d and be victorious,"25 but [afterwards,] in his time, there will be the complete expression of "redemption in peace," without any battle at all.

As is well known everything depends on our deeds and Divine service.26 Therefore there exist parallels to war and peace within a person's Divine service. The concept of war is reflected in the statement:27 "Eat bread by the sword." Similarly, [the Targum interprets] the phrase:28 "With my sword and my bow," as "With my prayers and supplications."

"A verse should not be interpreted beyond its simple meaning."29 Prayers and supplications are called swords and bows. [To explain:] A bow is used to do battle at a distance, while a sword is used for close fighting. Indeed, the Hebrew term for "battle," קרב, shares the same root letters as the word קרוב meaning "close." And, as reflected by the verse:30 "And a man wrestled with him," battle involves wrestling and close contact.

Nevertheless, the initial stages of Divine service that involve battling, iscafia, subduing [evil], are followed by the perfection of one's service, ishapcha, the transformation of darkness into light. At that point, there is no necessity for war, for the person's heart is "empty within [him;"31 his yetzer hora has been driven out entirely]. Indeed, he reaches an even higher level; his yetzer hora becomes good, as it is stated with regard to Abraham:32 "You found his heart faithful before You." לבבו, "his heart," is written with two beisim, [allowing for the interpretation "his hearts," and] indicating that he transformed his yetzer hora to good.

This is also relevant to every Jew's Divine service, for we are commanded,33 "Love G‑d with all your heart." Here also, לבבך ("your heart") is written with two beisim, [interpreted by our Sages as meaning,] "with both of your inclinations," [the yetzer hora as well as the yetzer tov].

From our Sages' statement at the beginning of the Talmud,34 "From when do we read the Shema in the evening?", it is understood that the service of reciting the Shema including "lov[ing] G‑d with all your heart" is relevant to every individual. Indeed, this is the very beginning of the Shema.

As our Sages say,35 we follow the pattern of the creation, first evening [and then morning]. Evening relates to the concept of "battle," [confronting] the darkness of the world. Afterwards, one ascends "from strength to strength," until he "recites the Shema" in the morning, until he reaches the ultimate dawn and day, [the future Redemption,] as the Talmud comments36 on the verse:37 "For a mitzvah is a lamp, the Torah is light; and reproofs of instruc­tion are the way of life." "The reproofs of instruction" refers to the service of teshuvah through which one attains "the way of life."

From the "lamp of a mitzvah," one can proceed to the light of the sun and the light of the stars, until "G‑d will be an eternal light for you"38 in the true and ultimate redemption. At that time, the level of yechidah of the soul will be revealed. This level is referred to as yechidah, "singularly unique," because there is no corresponding level in the forces of evil. In contrast, [there are corresponding levels] to all the internal powers of the soul and also the encompassing level of chayah.

In contrast, the service of yechidah transcends the pattern implied by "And there was evening and there was morning, one day,"39 for yachid, singular uniqueness, is above echad, one. This will lead to the revelation of the ultimate future. [As intimated by the full form of the word תולדות, in the expression," "These are the generations40 of the heaven and earth,"] when "the world was created in its fullness,"41 it was in a state of echad, "oneness." The second mention of תולדות in a full form "These are the generations of Peretz,"42 refers to the coming of Mashiach, as reflected by the phrase: "May the one who breaks through [haporetz] ascend before us"43 and also to the service of teshuvah. Then we will break through all barriers, [even those] of holiness. The generations will be full in a manner that reflects yachid, singular uniqueness. For "the one who breaks through will ascend before us;" David, the King Mashiach, will come and redeem us and lead us upright to our land. Then "G‑d will be an eternal light for you" and "nations will follow your light;"44 may this take place, speedily in our days.