1. Tonight represents the conclusion of the eleventh of Shvat, the day which follows the tenth of Shvat. Thus it is an appropriate time to focus on the lesson we can learn from the sequence of these dates.

Eleven refers to the conveyance of the Divine light which transcends the limits of the world within the limits of the world.1 “The world was created with ten utterances.” Eleven, thus, refers to a level above the limits of that set. Nevertheless, since it is also a number which follows in sequence to ten, we can understand that it refers to the fusion between the transcendent Divine light and the framework of limited worldly existence.

This fusion, however, is alluded to on the tenth of Shvat itself, for Shvat is the eleventh month. How much more so is it alluded to in the evening service of the eve of the eleventh of Shvat which relates to both the tenth and the eleventh of the month.2 What further lesson is contributed by the eleventh of the month itself?

The answer to this question depends on the difference between the monthly and the daily cycle which reflects the difference between the sun (which controls the daily cycle) and the moon (which controls the monthly cycle), i.e., the difference between a mashpia (a source of influence) and a mekabel (a recipient).

The eleventh month teaches us that we have the potential to receive influence from a level of G‑dliness that transcends the world and have that influence fused with the limits of the world itself. The eleventh day teaches that each individual can be a source for such influence, that he can draw down this influence throughout the world. Through his service, he channels the expression of influence from the eleventh level within the entire spiritual cosmos and thus strengthens and reinforces the existence of all the worlds.

Furthermore, our Sages state that a Jew “was created to serve his Creator.” This implies that a Jew has the potential to generate new influence for G‑d Himself, as it were. To explain: G‑d also reveals Himself within the context of a framework of ten, the ten Sefiros. These are the source for the limits of worldly existence. A Jew can bring about the revelation of a level of G‑dliness that transcends these limits.

This relates to the expression found in the Torah [in relation to the events of Rosh Chodesh Shvat], “an eleven day journey from Choreb.” Choreb refers to Mount Sinai, the mountain on which the Torah was given. The association of the giving of the Torah with the Ten Commandments indicates that the Torah was enclothed within the limits of worldly existence. The “eleven day journey from Choreb” alludes to a Jew’s potential to proceed from Choreb and contribute the quality of eleven, transcendent light, to the world.

The above phrase continues “by way of Mount Seir.” This relates to the effect produced by this service, the transformation of Mount Seir,3 associated with Eisav,4 into a positive influence.

Herein, there is also a point of connection to this week’s Torah reading, the portion associated with the Song of the Red Sea. This Torah reading begins, “And when Pharaoh sent forth the people.” For our people to leave Egypt, to transcend the boundaries and limitations of worldly existence, it is necessary for them to sent forth by Pharaoh. Here the intent is the positive connotation of Pharaoh, “the source for the revelation of all lights,” as explained by the Zohar.5

And after leaving Egypt, the boundaries and limitations of the world, the Jews will proceed, to Eretz Yisrael, “a good and abundant land,” “the land upon which are the eyes of G‑d from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” And the rains that fall in that land will only be for blessing, and this will be in a manner that transcends all limits.6

As mentioned on several previous occasions, the manner in which Eretz Yisrael receives water is structured to emphasize the dependence on G‑d’s blessing. “Unlike the land of Egypt where you... irrigate the land with your feet,” i.e., Egypt receives its supply of water from the Nile, Eretz Yisrael, “receives water from the rain [alone].”

And the land will remain perfect and complete, not an inch of it will be touched. In this context, there are unfortunately, influences which must be negated. And they will be negated and made “as the dust of the earth.” This expression is used in regard to the negation of chametz, “leaven,” on Pesach. Chametz is also interpreted as a reference to the yetzer hora. This influence must be destroyed, nullified, and transformed into a positive force assisting the matzah, the power of holiness.

Thus the perfection and complete existence of the Holy Land, will be connected to perfection within Torah and perfection within the Jewish people, creating “a threefold cord which will not be severed easily.” And the permanence established by this threefold cord will be paralleled by the eternality to be revealed in the Third Beis HaMikdash.

Herein there is also a connection to the coming Shabbos, the Shabbos of the Song of the Red Sea. That song, though associated with redemption, is referred to as shirah, the feminine form of “song.” Soon, in the Era of the Redemption, we will merit, shir (שיר) chadash, “a new song.” In this expression, the masculine form is used for it refers to a redemption that will not be followed by exile.

This will be hastened by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah, for “tzedakah brings near the Redemption.” May this take place on the present night, the eve of the sixth day of the week.7 May G‑d immediately “sound the great shofar for our freedom.” And then we will proceed “with our youth and with our elders... with our sons and with our daughters” to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash. May this take place in the immediate future.