1. Tonight marks the conclusion of the 22nd day of the eleventh month. As mentioned on a previous occasion,1 the number eleven is associated with the phrase, “an eleven day journey from Choreb.” This implies that after the experience of Choreb, the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, there is the need to proceed to a higher rung, “an eleven day journey.”

This teaches that one should not content himself with the service of the ten conscious powers of the soul, but should also involve our encompassing powers, including the power of yechidah whose transcendent nature is symbolized by the number eleven. Furthermore, both these dimensions of service should be fused together.

The fusion of ten and eleven relates to our present time, the time when all of our energies are directed towards “bringing the Era of the Mashiach.” This will be the tenth redemption. Simultaneously, there is a connection to eleven for the “the new [dimensions of the] Torah that will emerge from Me” represents an increase beyond the Ten Commandments and thus relates to the number eleven.

The 22nd day of the eleventh month is associated with the verse, “Through you (בך, the numerical equivalent of 22), Israel will be blessed.” This is associated with the blessings which each Jew gives every one of his fellow Jews. These blessings, in turn have their source in the 22 letters of the Torah.

The transmission of these blessings begins on the 21st day of the month, a day associated with the verse “Only (אך, the numerical equivalent of 21) good for Israel.” May this verse be realized in the most literal manner in the immediate future, with the revelation of open and apparent good, the ultimate good of the Era of the Redemption. At that time, “the spirit of impurity will be removed — i.e., totally and utterly nullified — from the earth.”2 (The number 21 also shares a connection with the Previous Rebbe, for his yahrzeit is on the tenth day of the eleventh month. Ten and eleven equal 21.3 )

The fusion of ten and eleven mentioned above relates to the two Torah portions connected with the present week, Parshas Yisro and Parshas Mishpatim. As mentioned above, the Ten Commandments of Parshas Yisro express the quality of ten within the Torah. The transcendent quality of eleven is alluded to by the opening verse of Parshas Mishpatim,4 “These are the laws which you shall place (tasim in Hebrew) before them.” Tasim shares a connection with the Hebrew word simah, which means “treasure,” referring to Pnimiyus HaTorah, the aspect of the Torah associated with the number eleven.

After the giving of the Torah, approaching this level required “an eleven day journey.” At present, however, it is possible to fuse the levels of ten and eleven together immediately, without any passage of time. Even after the giving of the Torah, there was a potential for this level to be reached quicker than usual. Thus in his commentary to the above verse, Rashi relates that the Jews traveled this eleven day journey in three days.

This hastened pace was made possible by the fact that the Ark traveled before the Jewish people. In this context, it is worthy to note that at times the two verses beginning “And it came to pass when the Ark set out” are considered as a separate Book of the Torah and thus the Book of Bamidbar is composed of three Books, bringing the total of all the Books of the Torah to seven.

Generally, the Written Torah is associated with the number five, the five books of the Chumash, and the Oral Torah with the number six, the six orders of the Mishnah. The division into seven, however, alludes to the seven general divisions of the Jewish people5 as reflected in the seven branches of the menorah.

Although the menorah had seven branches, it — including its leg — was made of a single piece of metal, reflecting the unity of the Jewish people. The leg (yerech in Hebrew) of the menorah descended downward, indicating that this division relates to the Jews as they are involved in the observance of the mitzvos, the realm of Torah that is involved in worldly matters.

The concept that the leg reflects an involvement in worldly matters is also reflected in the fact that when Yaakov was wrestling with Eisav’s archangel, the angel wounded him in the leg (yerech). And indeed, the effect of that wound was such that as a result, the Jews were prohibited against eating the gid hanasheh, the nerve within the thigh.

[In this context, the question arises: Will the prohibition against eating the gid hanasheh apply in the Era of the Redemption? On one hand, the performance of the mitzvos will not be nullified in the Era of the Redemption (and definitely not in the first period of that Era). On the other hand, since all negative factors will be nullified at that time, it is hard to conceive that this mitzvah which is the reflection of a negative influence will still be in effect.]

The positive dimension associated with the gid hanasheh will be revealed in the Era of the Redemption, for then the “body of the Holy King,” the 248 positive commandments and the 365 negative commandments, will reach its ultimate state of completion. And it will be revealed how even the 365 negative commandments reflect positive forces as embodied in the 365 sinews. All these qualities will be reflected in the actual physical bodies of the Jewish people whose 613 components reflect the 613 mitzvos of the Torah.

When the seven Rabbinical mitzvos are added to the number 613, the sum 620 is reached. 620 is numerically equivalent to the Hebrew word kesser, “crown.” Herein, there is a point of connection to the House of David to whom the monarchy has been granted as an eternal heritage.6

Through giving tzedakah we will hasten the coming of the Redemption and the revelation of “the new [dimensions of the] Torah that will emerge from Me.” In that era, all the Jews will be gathered to Eretz Yisrael. Herein, there is a connection to the present year, “a year of wonders in all things,” niflaos bakol. For bakol is associated with the threefold expression of blessing associated with our Patriarchs, bakol mikol kol7 which is numerically equivalent to the word kabetz, meaning “gather in.”

And in the immediate future, we will be gathered into Eretz Yisrael. This will be hastened by taking on good resolutions in regard to the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah which is associated with our encompassing powers that relate to the sense of smell. (Herein there is a connection to the name Mushka which is associated with the sense of smell.) And also by taking on resolutions for the study of Torah law and the performance of the mitzvos [which are connected with the name Chayah, for the Torah and its mitzvos are “our lives (chayeinu) and the length of our days”]. Through these activities, we will merit the fulfillment of the mitzvah, “And you shall make Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell within,” with the construction of the Third Beis HaMikdash. May this take place in the immediate future.