1. As mentioned on the previous days, tonight is significant for it is one of the days of the month of Tishrei, a month of general importance, and in particular, one of the days of the festivals when “it is a positive commandment of the Torah to celebrate as it is written: ‘And you shall rejoice on your festivals.’“ Furthermore, as one of the days of Chol HaMoed, it has additional importance in regard to Simchas Beis HaShoeivah.

While the Temple was standing, Simchas Beis HaShoeivah was only celebrated during Chol HaMoed, but not on Shabbos or on Yom Tov. Though, at present, it is possible to hold Simchas Beis HaShoeivah on these days as well, there is still a positive aspect that remains from the initial situation. Thus, there is an increased emphasis on Simchas Beis HaShoeivah during these days.

In that context, it is worthy to mention the following concept. In general, we find that certain customs were established as a remembrance of the Temple practices, e.g., the korach and afikoman as a remembrance of the Paschal sacrifice. Similarly, we hold Simchas Beis HaShoeivah at present to commemorate the great celebrations that were held in the Temple. Furthermore, this arouses our yearning for the time when the Temple will be rebuilt and we will hold Simchas Beis HaShoeivah there in a complete manner.

Nevertheless, a question arises: The celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah were associated with drawing the water for the water libation as alluded to in the verse: “And you shall draw water with happiness.” Nevertheless, in our commemoration of those celebrations, there is generally no mention or allusion to water. Though it would be easy to arrange some connection to the concept of drawing water, we find that throughout the generations, Jewish custom has been to commemorate the Simchas Beis HaShoeivah celebrations, but to omit any connection to drawing water.

Whatever the explanation for the above, the lesson we can derive from it is that we must increase our commemoration of the celebrations to compensate for the lack of any commemoration of the drawing of water. Furthermore, in this context, one can appreciate a different dimension of the custom of explaining Torah concepts in connection with Simchas Beis HaShoeivah, for Torah is often referred to with the metaphor of water.

Though the Torah is described by other metaphors, e.g., wine and oil, each metaphor has a unique concept which it conveys. The concept conveyed by the metaphor of water is that just as water descends from above to below, similarly, Torah descends from its spiritual source to the extent that it can be comprehended within the context of this world. Indeed, it is this “water-like” tendency which brings the Torah into the reach of each and every individual, regardless of his level.

Furthermore, the tendency of water is that not only does a certain percentage of the water descend, but rather, unless there are impediments, the entire quantity of water will descend. Similarly, not only does a certain aspect of Torah descend, like water the entire Torah is brought down to us.

This is also relevant in regard to the manner with which we approach Torah. Just as Torah has the tendency to descend, a student of Torah must have the tendency to humble himself and not to display pride and arrogance. Indeed, even if a person who lifts himself up with pride once studied Torah, since Torah has the tendency to flow downward, the Torah will flow away from him. The Torah is G‑d’s Torah. Therefore, just as He says in regard to an arrogant person: “I cannot dwell together with him in the world,” so, too, the Torah will not remain with such a person.

The above also relates to the aspect of happiness. Torah is connected with happiness as it is written: “The precepts of the L‑rd are just, rejoicing the heart.” The tendency of water within Torah causes this joy to descend to the lowest levels, our physical world, where it can be appreciated by souls as enclothed within physical bodies.

The Torah associates happiness and joy with Simchas Beis HaShoeivah as the Mishnah relates: “Whoever did not witness Simchas Beis HaShoeivah has never witnessed joy in his life.”

The converse of that statement is also true. A Jew who witnesses and participates in the celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah has the potential to see joy throughout his life. When a Jew participates in the celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah and takes an active part in this rejoicing, he gains the potential to appreciate happiness throughout his life; in his performance of the mitzvos and even in his mundane activities.

Thus, on each day of Sukkos, one should celebrate Simchas Beis HaShoeivah with energy and vitality to the extent that as the Talmud relates “our eyes did not taste sleep.” In order to bring about true happiness, it is necessary to add a new element to the celebrations each night. Nevertheless, since each day, G‑d returns our soul to us as a new creation, we have the potential to come to Simchas Beis HaShoeivah with “new faces” and increase our celebration beyond that of the previous night.

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2. There is a particularly special aspect of the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah tonight. Tonight is the fourth night of Sukkos and, thus, the majority of the seven days of Sukkos have already been celebrated. Furthermore, in Torah law, we find the principle, “the majority is considered as the entire entity.” Indeed, we see a parallel to this in contemporary democracy, where the opinions of the majority determine the laws for the entire nation. Thus, tonight, we have the potential of celebrating with the totality of the energy of the entire holiday. Celebrating Simchas Beis HaShoeivah in the proper manner tonight will assure that the celebration will also be complete in the nights to follow and indeed, the joy will be increased.

In addition, insight into the unique nature of the present evening can be derived from the Ushpizin of the present night: Moshe Rabbeinu and the Mitteler Rebbe. The common point between them is the quality described in Chassidic terms as “the broadening of the river.”

Moshe is intrinsically connected with the Torah as obvious from the verse: “Remember the Torah of Moshe, My servant.” Our Sages explained that since he was willing to sacrifice himself for the Torah, it is called by his name. Consequently, the approach to Torah study in a manner of “the broadening of the river” also relates to him.

Furthermore, Moshe shares a particular connection to this approach of study. The Talmud relates that the approach of pilpul was given as a gift to Moshe and he gave it to the Jewish people. Pilpul is a process of study which allows one to broaden one’s base of knowledge. It is this question and answer process which adds further depth and breadth to one’s comprehension of a subject, allowing one to achieve “the broadening of the river.”

This quality was also expressed by the Mitteler Rebbe. He would explain the concepts which the Alter Rebbe had stated in seminal form in a lengthy, broad-based manner.

The qualities of the Ushpizin are also related to the lessons that can be derived from the daily portions of Torah studied. For example, the concept of “the broadening of the river,” is related to the Torah portion which describes the great blessings given to Yosef. Those blessings include the promise of “the precious crops brought forth by the sun.” Rashi describes them as delicacies, i.e., foods that bring pleasure to those who eat them.

Pleasure results from the comprehension of an idea in all of its particulars, resolving all the questions and difficulties, in a manner of “the broadening of the river.” The quality of pleasure is also related to the holiday of Sukkos. Sukkos reveals the elements that were hidden on Rosh Hashanah. The latter holiday is related to the coronation of G‑d as “King of the Universe.” This coronation arouses G‑d’s pleasure and this pleasure is revealed on Sukkos.

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3. Also, it is important to derive a lesson from the daily portion of Psalms. The custom of reciting Psalms daily is very significant, for it is considered both as prayer and as Torah study. In the latter context, our Sages explained that King Dovid prayed (and G‑d granted his wish) that the recitation of Psalms would be considered as equivalent to the study of the most difficult portions of the Talmud. (Because of this unique importance, the Previous Rebbe stressed — and sent proclamations concerning — the recitation of Psalms. Particularly, on Rosh Hashanah, he urged that every free moment be spent reciting Psalms.)

There are a number of different customs regarding the recitation of Psalms. Some finish the Psalms every week, some every month, etc. However, the custom chosen by the Previous Rebbe — to recite Psalms according to the monthly cycle — is appropriate for each individual. Thus, the Psalms recited today, Psalms 88 and 89, share an intrinsic connection to the Ushpizin of the present night.

Psalms are generally associated with song and celebration; firstly, because it is part of Torah concerning which it says: “The precepts of G‑d... make glad the heart;” secondly, Dovid is referred to as “the sweet singer of Israel” and such songs produce happiness. This particularly applies to those Psalms — as those in today’s portion — which are described as a “shir” or a “mizmor.”

The question thus arises: How is this appropriate for the two Psalms in today’s portion which deal with seemingly negative factors. The first Psalm centers on — as explained in the introduction printed in most books of Psalms — “the diseases and inflictions which Israel suffers in the exile.” The second Psalm begins with verses of positive intent, but in its major part deals with the description of the nullification of the Kingship of the House of Dovid as emphasized by the concluding verse: “the abuse of Your enemies, G‑d, who scorned the footsteps of Your anointed.” Indeed, the Ibn Ezra writes that there was a great Sage in Spain who would not recite this Psalm because of these negative factors.

The explanation to this concept depends on the principle explained on the second night of Sukkos, that even the most severe negative factors have their source in holiness. Nothing can originate in evil. Nor does anything create itself. Rather, everything is brought into being by G‑d. He is the essence of good, whose nature is to do good. Therefore, even when we see something which appears to be negative and undesirable, we must realize that in essence, it is good and it is merely that we are unable to appreciate that good. Furthermore, good is so great that — in order to reveal that great goodness — G‑d is willing to create something which does not appear good and thus, causes Jews pain. Ultimately, that darkness and pain will itself be transformed into greater light and greater rejoicing.

On this basis, we explained the positive intent of the verses: “Gentiles have entered Your inheritance;” i.e., instead of having to descend to the gentile’s place to refine and elevate him, the light of holiness is so strong that the gentiles are motivated to come into the place of holiness and become transformed into good.

(Similarly, we find that other Sages have explained verses with negative connotations in a positive context. For example, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev interpreted the verse: “a people heavy with sin” as “a people for whom sin is difficult.”)

In the present context as well, despite the seemingly negative content of these Psalms, it is possible to appreciate their positive intent. The opening verse of Psalm 88 is often translated, “A song and ode... regarding sickness (sickness from unfilled love of G‑d, Rashi) and suffering (the sufferings of the exile, Rashi).” However, the word “machless” translated as “sickness” can also be rendered as the name of a musical instrument related to the word “machol” meaning “dance.” Similarly, “la’anos” rendered as “suffering” can also refer to the chorus of a song. Thus, we see that this Psalm can be associated with a high level of rejoicing.

This concept is also reflected by the fact that these two Psalms are attributed to Haiman and Aitan, who both are described as “HaEzrachi.” Chassidus interprets the latter phrase to be a reference to the potentials which will be revealed in the Messianic era. [This concept also relates to Sukkos for Vayikra 23:42 commands that “every Ezrach should dwell in Sukkos.”]

The first Psalm deals with matters of this world, while the second Psalm deals essentially with the House of Dovid. Thus, it states, “I have established a covenant with My chosen one, I have sworn to Dovid, My servant” and continues to mention the Mashiach.

This difference is related to the differences in the names of the authors of the Psalms, Haiman and Aitan. Haiman begins with the letter, Hay, and thus, alludes to the five organs of speech. Aitan begins with the letter Aleph, a soundless letter, which alludes to a simple tone that is not effected by these five organs and thus, serves as the source for all the letters.

The world was created by speech. Thus, the letter hay is connected with the existence of the world. In contrast, the letter Aleph refers to G‑d’s qualities which transcend the limits of this world. Thus, the two Psalms reflect the perfect state of the world as it was created (Psalm 88) and its ultimate state of perfection in the Messianic age (Psalm 89). Though it also mentions many undesirable elements, these can be seen as the descent necessary to come to the ultimate perfection of the Messianic age.

Thus, the message of both Psalms is that it is possible to reveal how even matters which appear as undesirable are in truth positive influences of the highest nature. This concept is also connected to the Ushpizin of the present night, Moshe and the Mitteler Rebbe.

The connection to Moshe can be explained as follows: Moshe’s early years were spent in a very difficult period of Jewish history. Our people were confronted by the decree that their children were to be thrown into the river. Even Moshe was hidden for three months and then abandoned in a floating cradle and it was only through the mercies of Pharaoh’s daughter that he was able to live.

Indeed, his very name, Moshe, was given to him by Pharaoh’s daughter to recall how he was taken from the water and saved. Though our Sages teach that Moshe had ten different names, the one with which he is constantly referred to recalls how his life was in danger and that he was saved. (According to Chassidus, that name also implies a positive concept, reflecting the level of water, a spiritual rung far above our world. Accordingly, when he had to relate to matters of this world, he was “heavy of mouth and of tongue.”)

Thus, we see a paradox. On one hand, Moshe, the Jews’ redeemer, the person who received the Torah, was born at a time when there was a decree — which surely had its source in the spiritual realms — that threatened his very life. Conversely, during the time of such a harsh decree, the redeemer of the Jewish people was born.

The concept of a seemingly undesirable factor which ultimately is positive can also be seen in regard to the Mitteler Rebbe. Indeed, his very name Dov, the Hebrew for “bear,” expresses this concept. A bear is a non-kosher animal. Furthermore, there are other animals, for example, the eagle and the lion, which though non-kosher are still included in the vision of G‑d’s chariot. Nothing of that nature is mentioned in regard to the bear.

In Daniel’s vision, the bear stands for the kingdom of Persia for it resembles the bear: “They eat and drink like bears and are heavily laden with meat like bears.” Thus, the bear reflects an approach dominated by the material and physical. Though meat is not contrary to spirituality — on the contrary, a healthy body also has meat — but being “heavily laden with meat” implies that one is given over to the material and the physical.

(The same applies regarding the Mitteler Rebbe’s second name Ber. It is merely a translation of the Hebrew, Dov, without any significance of its own. [This contrasts with the Alter Rebbe’s second name, Zalman, which has a different meaning than Schneur.]

However, the concept of meat also has its source in the spiritual realms and it is from there that it is reflected in our world. This is related to the concept of “the limbs of the king,” the 248 positive commandments. By fulfilling those commandments, it is as if we bring into being these 248 limbs. “Heavily laden with meat” refers to the service of teshuvah which brings about an increase — of a totally different type — of merits which brings about an increase, as it were, of “meat” in the spiritual realms.

From this spiritual reality is drawn down the existence of entities which are “heavily laden with meat” in this world, including the nation which resembles a bear. However, the intent of that descent is that, through their service, the Jewish people — in particular those in exile in Persia — would bring out the inner intent contained in meat.

This is also related to the festivals (including Chol HaMoed), when it is a mitzvah to eat meat since “there is no happiness other than meat.” Though this statement refers to the consumption of the peace offerings sacrificed on the festivals, there is still a mitzvah (Rabbinic in origin) to eat meat on the festivals.

There is another aspect of these Psalms which is connected to the Mitteler Rebbe. Both of the Psalms are given the title Maskil.” Rashi explains that these Psalms were communicated by a prophet to an interpreter who would proclaim them to the people at large. The word maskil is related to the word seichel, “intellect.” A maskil represents a revelation of the highest powers of intellect which require the use of an interpreter to communicate these concepts to others. This relates to the Mitteler Rebbe whose Chassidus revealed the extremely high intellectual levels, “the broadening of the river.”

Also, the two authors of the Psalms — Haiman and Aitan — were brothers who served together in the Temple. This implies the concept of brotherhood and love. This is also reflected in the service of the Mitteler Rebbe who stated that his desire is that when two Chassidim would meet, they would speak together about “Yichudah Ilaah” — G‑d’s Sublime Unity. Talking about such a concept would also bring about a high level of unity and brotherhood among the Chassidim.

The connection between the Ushpizin of the present night and the two Psalms can be explained in a more specific fashion. Since we find two Ushpizin and two Psalms, it is possible to explain a connection between Moshe and the first Psalm and the Mitteler Rebbe and the second Psalm. Though, as explained above, the two share a common quality, they both represent “the broadening of the river,” a powerful intellectual revelation, there is a difference between them. Moshe is associated with the revelation of this quality in regard to Nigleh, the study of Torah law. In contrast, the Mitteler Rebbe is associated with the revelation of this quality in regard to Pnimiyus HaTorah, the teachings of Chassidus.

Moshe received the entire Torah, both Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah. Indeed, on Mount Sinai, Torah law was not revealed in its entirety; all the Jews heard were the Ten Commandments. Although those commandments include all the 613 mitzvos, that connection is not revealed. In contrast, at Mount Sinai, the entire Jewish people witnessed the revelation of G‑d’s chariot, the main body of study of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Furthermore, after the utterance of the first command “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d,” — which is related to Pnimiyus HaTorah, “the soul of the people expired;” had G‑d not returned their souls, the lives of the entire people would have ended before they received any of the legal aspects of Torah study.

Nevertheless, this applies to Mount Sinai alone, throughout all the subsequent generations, Moshe has been associated with the study of the legal aspects of Torah and Pnimiyus HaTorah has remained hidden, revealed only to a select few. In contrast, the Mitteler Rebbe is associated with “the broadening of the river,” a powerful revelation within the realm of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Furthermore, we find that even at present when, as the AriZal proclaims, “it is permitted and a mitzvah to reveal this knowledge,” we find that not everyone is capable of comprehending the concepts explained by the Mitteler Rebbe.

(In regard to the spreading of Chassidus at present, it is significant to note the statements of the Alter Rebbe in Hilchos Talmud Torah:

For the sake of its perfection, each soul must be involved in the entire Pardes (Pshat — the simple meaning, Remez — the allusions, Drush — the homilies, and Sod — the mystical teachings of Torah) according to its potential to comprehend and know....

Anyone who has the potential to comprehend and know much and — due to laziness — achieves only a small amount must reincarnate...

Thus, to bring each soul to its perfection — since soon the Messianic redemption will come and thus, there is no time for a further reincarnation — there is a need to spread the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah. In this context, we can understand the efforts of the Previous Rebbe who sought to spread Pnimiyus HaTorah everywhere, translating it into seventy languages.)

Thus, the first Psalm which deals with the perfection of the world within the natural order is associated with Moshe and the revealed aspects of Torah law. The second Psalm, which deals with the House of Dovid and the coming of the Mashiach — a state of perfection above the natural order — is associated with the Mitteler Rebbe and Pnimiyus HaTorah.

The above is also associated with Simchas Beis HaShoeivah. On the surface, one might ask: How is it possible to rejoice in Simchas Beis HaShoeivah when we are found in exile and in the diaspora? Even in Eretz Yisrael, we are in exile. There are many mitzvos that cannot be fulfilled at present or are fulfilled only according to Rabbinic (but not Torah) law. This includes the essential mitzvah, the construction of the Temple. Therefore, the lesson from these Psalms — that even those factors which, on the surface, appear negative are, in fact, positive — is most significant.

A gentile can only have power over a Jew if G‑d desires it. Rather, exile is intended only to bring the Jews to a higher level as we see in regard to the exile in Egypt. Our Sages referred to that exile as “the iron furnace,” implying that just as the impurities are removed from ore in the smelting furnace, so, too, the exile in Egypt was a process of refinement which prepared the Jews to receive the Torah. The same applies to our present exile. It is a preparatory step to the revelation of the Mashiach’s teachings.

(In Torah Or, the Alter Rebbe emphasizes how, at present, rather than work with Chomer Ul’vainim (“bricks and mortar”), G‑d has given us the potential to labor with Kal ViChomer (one of the thirteen principles of Biblical exegesis) and Livon Hilchasah (“the clarification of the halachah”) and it is through these efforts that we will merit the Messianic redemption.)

These concepts are emphasized by the Ushpizin of the present night. Firstly, what happened to Moshe has an effect on the entire Jewish people as evident from our Sages’ explanation (Berachos 33b) of the verse: “Now, Israel, all G‑d asks from you is....” Thus, just as Moshe was saved from the river, the spark of Moshe in every Jew gives him the potential to be saved from all difficulties. Furthermore, Moshe gives us the potential for Torah study and the clarification of halachic questions. The latter quality is also emphasized by the Mitteler Rebbe who composed texts of Piskei Dinim, halachic decisions.

Also, the Mitteler Rebbe taught that the severe decrees and sufferings endured by the Jewish people in previous exiles will never recur again. Thus, both Ushpizin emphasize how there is no need to be effected by the darkness of exile. On the contrary, it is possible to reveal the inner truth of the exile, that it is nothing more than a preparation for the redemption.

“Deed is most essential.” We are in the darkness of exile, and it is night, when that darkness is felt more strongly. Nevertheless, there is no need to be effected by the darkness. Rather, we must dance and celebrate in Simchas Beis HaShoeivah. Furthermore, that celebration is not held in a synagogue or a house of study, but rather, in the public thoroughfare.

(The Hebrew term for the public thoroughfare, Reshus HaRabim, implies a concept of multitudinous division. However, that division is itself a reflection of simple oneness. Similarly, through the Jews’ singing and dancing in the public thoroughfare, it becomes transformed into a private domain — Reshus HaYachid — for G‑d.)

These celebrations will also have an effect on the gentiles who pass through the public domain and make them aware that there is a Super Power who is supreme above all other worldly powers and grants them dominion.

May it be G‑d’s will that each individual use the potentials that are granted him tonight to celebrate Simchas Beis HaShoeivah — both in the celebrations here and also in the celebrations in other places to which people will travel from here. Furthermore, the concepts that are explained here should be communicated throughout the world so that similar celebrations can be held everywhere.

May these celebrations draw down happiness for the entire year and make it a year of happiness, including the ultimate source of happiness, the ultimate redemption led by Mashiach, may it come speedily, in our days.