1. The sixth of Tishrei is distinguished by two significant factors:

a) It marks the passage of the majority of the Ten Days of Repentance. In Torah law, we find that, in certain dimensions, the majority of a quantity is considered as the totality of the quantity. Similarly, in the laws of prayer, though ten people are required for a minyan, all the prayers requiring a minyan can be recited when only six of the ten are actually praying.

b) It is associated with the six days of creation and thus, is related to Rosh HaShanah which commemorates the creation of the world.

These two factors are interrelated for Rosh HaShanah also shares a connection with the Ten Days of Teshuvah as obvious from our Sages’ statement, “These are the Ten Days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.” This implies that, in addition to the essential qualities which they possess in their own right, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur also share in the general service of the Ten Days of Teshuvah.

This service is related to the opening verse of the Haftorah of Shabbos Shuvah:Israel, return to the L‑rd (י-ה-ו-ה-), your G‑d (א-להיך).” In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains that the following concepts can be derived from the use of the two names י-ה-ו-ה (Havayah) which represents a transcendent level of G‑dliness and א-להים, the aspect of G‑dliness which relates to the natural order:

a) The revelation of Havayah must be drawn down through the medium of E-lokim. This represents the service of Tzaddikim.

b) We must reach a higher dimension of G‑dliness, compared to which the revelation of Havayah is itself E-lokim, a contraction and limitation. This relates to the service of Baalei Teshuvah.

This is connected with this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Haazinu, which begins with the verse, “Heavens, give ear, earth, listen,” interpreted by our Sages to imply that Moshe was “close to the heavens and far from the earth.” This concept is related to the service of every Jew. We all have the potential to be “close to the heavens,” spiritual matters, and “far from the earth,” material affairs.

We must, nevertheless, involve ourselves in material affairs. G‑d created the world because He “desired a dwelling in the lower worlds” and that dwelling is created through the service of the Jews. In that dwelling, G‑d’s essence, a dimension of G‑dliness which transcends all revelation, will become manifest.

To fulfill this Divine intent and desire, the soul descends “from a high roof (the spiritual realms) to a low pit (our material world).” Similarly, the Torah and the mitzvos descended to the extent that they are concerned with material affairs and matters of this world.

This is also the basis for our Sages’ statement, “deed1 is most essential.” It is through deed and action within the context of our material world that G‑d’s dwelling is shaped.

Despite the involvement in material affairs that such service requires, a Jew must remain “far from the earth.” He must realize that this involvement is against his essential nature and carried out only for the sake of fulfilling G‑d’s will. Thus, his service is a fusion of two opposite tendencies: His essential nature which is “close to the heavens”2 and his commitment to G‑d’s desires which motivates him to carry out his service within this material world.

This is also related to the concepts discussed on Rosh HaShanah which explain that because “Israel and the Holy One, blessed be He, are One,” a Jew can combine the ultimate of bittul (self-nullification) with the ultimate in personal achievement. Indeed, it is through the combination of these two qualities that the worldly can be transformed into a dwelling for G‑d’s essence.3

This relates to our service on Rosh HaShanah which involves accepting G‑d as king and proclaiming His Kingship over the totality of creation (self-nullification) and through that service, bringing the world to its ultimate state of fulfillment (achievement).

The fusion of these two opposites lies at the very essence of creation. On one hand, the world’s being is essentially “nothing.” Indeed, because the nature of creation is “something from nothing,” the creation must constantly be renewed as the Baal Shem Tov explains. Simultaneously, as the Rambam explains, “all existence came into being from the truth of His Being,” i.e., within our existence, there is a dimension which reflects the ultimate of being.

A similar fusion of opposites lies at the core of the higher level of Teshuvah, the service which characterizes the Ten Days of Teshuvah. Teshuvah involves an inner realization of self-nullification. Simultaneously, our Sages teach that through Teshuvah from love, “one’s conscious sins become transformed into merits,” i.e., one acquires a higher level of achievements.4

This also relates to the manner in which this gathering will be concluded, through the distribution of money to be given to charity. Giving tzedakah also involves a fusion of two opposites, uniting the giver and the recipient.

All of the above will be enhanced by the influence of תש"נ, the year of miracles. This gives a person the potential to rise immeasurably higher than his previous level of service and thus, hasten the revelation of the ultimate miracle, the Messianic redemption.