1. This Shabbos we note several themes:

A) It is the Shabbos following the Hillula day of the 10th of Shvat.

B) It is the fifteenth of Shvat.

C) The weekly portion is Beshallach and at Minchah we will read the first part of Yisro.

Coming together as they do on one Shabbos indicates a common factor through which they complement each other. Yet, each also has some unique, individualistic aspect which we should investigate.

The theme of the 15th of Shvat pertains to the day itself. The Zohar says that on the fifteenth of the month the moon reaches its fullness (See Zohar I, p. 150a).

In contrast, the day of Shabbos always relates to the preceding days (or, the ensuing days), for it brings completion and perfection to the preceding days of the week, till they attain the ultimate degree of “delight.” As we say: “You called it the most desirable of days” (Siddur). This week the process of rising to perfection and delight will also include the day of Hillula, the 10th of Shvat.

There is a common aspect between every Shabbos and a Yahrzeit. Shabbos brings a cessation to all action and speech in weekday matters, and an elevation to the powers of the mind. The day of passing is similar, for the person ascends from the bodily world of action (action and speech) and rises to the soul-world of thought.

A Torah scholar is referred to as “Shabbos,” because he is involved in holy matters, just as Shabbos is loftier than the other days of the week. The day of passing of a righteous, Torah scholar, is therefore the “Shabbos in its Shabbos” (See Devarim 28:10).

The theme of Shabbos applies to a Nasi in a more intense fashion. The Gemara says:

As soon as a man is appointed leader of the community, he is forbidden to do (manual) work in the presence of three men.... (Kiddushin 70a,Rambam, Laws of Sanhedrin 25:4)

Certainly the Nasi would be restricted by this rule, and if so, by Torahlaw his conduct must be similar to Shabbos. And since the esoteric teachings of Torah vis-à-vis the revealed aspects of Torah are also symbolic of Shabbos, it therefore follows that when the Nasi is also Nasi by virtue of the Chassidic teachings of Torah — then his association with the aspect of Shabbos is intensified. This then is the theme of this Shabbos which follows the hillula of the Previous Rebbe — the Nasi.

Let us therefore first discuss this aspect of the Shabbos.

When the Shabbos following an hillula comes and all aspects of the week rise, it gives us the opportunity to increase our Divine service in the areas taught by the Previous Rebbe and to follow in his path in an ever-increasing way. Shabbos also teaches us that these lofty accomplishments must be drawn down and revealed in a manner that they will penetrate the physical realm.

While Shabbos represents an aspect of aloofness from worldly matters, leaving the world of action and ascending to the realm of thought, yet on the other hand, it is bound to the temporal limitation of time, for it is called the “seventh day.” It has a connection to the preceding and ensuing days. It therefore represents both the highest level of existence as well as the restrictions of the material world.

Now, on this Shabbos which follows the hillula, we must take all the lofty themes of the hillula that ascended and reached perfection through the Shabbos, and draw them into the mundane, weekday world.

One of the unique characteristics of all the Chabad (Lubavitch) Nesi’im has been their devotion to teach and reveal the esoteric teachings of Torah in a manner that gives “sustenance” (see Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 6) to the student. This is so, because it must be understood and absorbed in the essence of his soul and the root of his life, just as food becomes blood and flesh of the person who eats.

Traditionally, the Chabad Nasi not only gave life to his disciples, in a manner which continually invigorated and stimulated them (as was the manner of other Chassidic leaders), but, the Chabad Nasi also transmitted such an essential power, that the student could then develop his own independent power, and go out on his own. This was because the original radiation reached into, and penetrated the inner essence of the disciple.

The reason for this intensity is the life of the Nasi himself. We find in Tanya:

The life of the tzaddik is not a physical life, but a spiritual life.

This does not mean that his physical life is so thoroughly permeated by spirituality, that it becomes its source and cause, rather it means, simply and actually, that his spiritual life is his physical life!

It follows then, that the teachings and benevolence given to the students and disciples will not be superficial and external — but will penetrate to the core of the essence and become their “flesh and blood,” to the degree of “sustenance.” True instruction, from teacher to student, should really always have this quality. The teacher must build the student to the point that he stands on his own feet with his own power. He should not need the support and encouragement of his mentor in every step of the way. Until such time that the disciple reaches such a level the teacher has not fulfilled his role.

The Previous Rebbe, in one of his sichos, quoted the “Shaloh,” on the verse (from our portion):

This is my G‑d and I will glorify Him (veanveihu), the G‑d of my father and I will exalt Him. (Shmos 15:2)

When G‑d is “my G‑d,” because I comprehend and know G‑d in my heart then I will glorify Him — veanveihu — this word may be broken into two words “Ani Vehu,” “I and G‑d” are united. On the other hand, when the comprehension is lacking, and I know by tradition only, that He is the “G‑d of my father,” then “I will exalt Him”; G‑d will be praised and exalted, but He will be aloof from me.

This means that faith is not enough, there must also be knowledge and understanding. For, faith alone will allow the condition of emotion to exalt G‑d and view Him above and aloof from everything. It takes knowledge through comprehension to evoke the statement “This is my G‑d”:

This” means revelation — “they pointed to G‑d and said this”; “My G‑d” by virtue of my intellect and knowledge. “I will glorify Him” “I and He are united and bound together.”

Consequently, on this Shabbos, after the 10th of Shvat, the hillula of a Nasi of Chabad, we emphasize, that everything must penetrate to the essence of the person, to become his flesh and blood, until it evolves into true action in actual worldly matters.

With this in mind we can see an important lesson in our Divine service — the importance of:

Not study, but practice is the essential thing. (Avos 1:17)

After all the meditation, contemplation and comprehension in all the areas of the hillula day; and after making the concomitant good resolutions in the areas stressed by the Previous Rebbe; spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit and disseminating the wellsprings of Chassidus to the outside; after all this mental exercise, we must remember that all this must be internalized and engender positive action in the real world.

The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya (ch. 38) that if one concentrated on all the lofty intentions and symbolism of a mitzvah, but did not actually do the mitzvah he has not fulfilled his duty. If, on the other hand, he did the actual mitzvah, but had no great intellectual stimulation, he has fulfilled his duty.

This clearly means, that the act is not a separate function to be added at will to the mental study, concentration and intention; when he actually carries out the deed the mitzvah is perfected and if he did not carry out the deed then his observance is faulty, because a detail is missing.

This is not so!

For the “practice is the essential thing.” When it is done the mitzvah is — it comes into being! — and when the action is missing the essence is missing! No matter how much good intention was there.

This same principle will apply in the area of reaching out to disseminate the fountains of Chassidus to the outside.

When speaking to another Jew about donning tefillin the goal is obvious: the person should put on tefillin! What about other areas of influence? There too, your activity must bring real results. How many people have you influenced to come closer to Torah, Yiddishkeit and the fountains of Chassidus?

You must make an honest accounting. Can you point to friends and acquaintances and say “Here is a person who has come closer to Yiddishkeit and has become an illuminating lamp!”

No excuses are acceptable, the onus rests on you to show results.

This accounting has a double benefit. First of all, at the time of the coming of Mashiach all aspects must be clear and defined, as we find in Daniel:

They will be selected and clarified and many will be refined. (Daniel 12:10)

Secondly, the clarity of results will bring more zeal in your action: If you see minimal results you will realize that you must double your efforts, and if you see great accomplishments you will be motivated to do more.

Do you argue that the poor results were beyond your control, or that you were refrained from working because of insurmountable obstacles? The answer to this excuse is, that although,

Divine law prescribes exemption in cases of a person who sinned under compulsion, (B. Kama 28b)

the deed is still lacking — thus, the essence is missing.

On the other hand, if you had worked properly, you would have seen the fruits of your labors, “May you see your world in your lifetime” (Berachos 17a), because “You have worked hard and you have been successful” (Megillah 6b).

Although the promise of seeing your world in your lifetime is usually associated with exceptional personalities, in this case, however, it pertains to everyone, for we speak not of the reward, rather of the concrete results of the efforts.

Although there was a time when this concerted effort to spread the wellsprings was limited to special people, since the Previous Rebbe came to America and taught Torah here and initiated his outreach to all Jews here, in the Western Hemisphere, this work has become the responsibility of all men and women. Each person must apply it in his or her respective way. The Previous Rebbe stressed and emphasized this point time and again, always demanding the practical results.

When the Previous Rebbe wrote in his letter “Stand together ready...[to receive the blessing of the Eternal],” he was indicating that the potential powers are available, we just have to stand up staunchly and be determined to do.

Among the many activities we speak of we must also include the importance of calling out and demanding Mashiach. In prayer the intention and thought does not suffice, prayer must be spoken, so too in this case we must encourage others to call out: “How long! — the galus should end!”

Our goal is to see the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach, when we will have the complete people and complete Torah and mitzvos and go to the complete land. Then we will be granted the revelation of Mashiach’s new teachings.

So may it be for us quickly and truly in our days.

* * *

2. When the 15th of Shvat falls on a Shabbos we have a combination of a complete moon cycle with the full sun cycle.

Shabbos which is the closing day of the weekly cycle represents the full sun cycle. At the time of creation the sun truly reached a state of perfection on Shabbos, for our sages tell us that the sun did not set on the first Friday night:

That light functioned thirty-six hours, twelve on Friday, twelve during the night of the Shabbos and twelve on the Shabbos day. (Bereishis Rabbah 11:2)

In other words, on Shabbos the sun reached a state of perfection. Every week when the cycle of creation revolves again the same state is again attained, which is why we look at each day of the week as if it were the first such day of the week of creation. As we say in the Song of the Day: “Today in the first day....”

Thus the cycle of the week is connected to Shabbos and the sun.

The days of the month are connected to the lunar cycle. The 15th of the month is the day when the moon disc is full. Consequently, when the 15th of the month occurs on Shabbos we have a combination of both the complete moon and the complete sun.

The sun and the moon have come to symbolize many things: the Jewish people and the gentile nations, teacher and pupil, benefactor and beneficiary. In all of these symbolic cases the two subjects are either opposites or at least very different from each other. Hence, when we speak of a unification of sun and moon, it is an event of no small magnitude and novelty.

But let us understand this phenomenon in relation to a person’s Divine service.

Since the light of the sun does not change, we may compare this to the regular “daily sacrifices according to their order.” The moon’s light does daily wax, until it reaches its full state on the 15th, which would correlate it to the “Mussaf offerings according to their rule.” (See Siddur)

Now during the first half of the month the moon grows from day to day; this clearly symbolizes the concept of “Mussaf” — adding and increasing. But what about the second half of the month when the moon wanes? Here too we may perceive an improvement.

When a person reaches the fullness of Divine service associated with the 15th of each month, he must make a serious introspection and he will realize that he has not accomplished as much as he could have. He then reaches a state of humility and bittul (self-deprecation). This attitude of humility continues to increase (by making himself smaller), until he becomes absolutely void — just as the moon disappears at the end of the month; he has attained complete nullification of ego.

This lofty spiritual state once again causes a unity with the sun and the rebirth of the moon to enable it to wax again, and so the moon is constantly in a state of “Mussaf offerings.” Therefore, when the 15th of the month occurs on Shabbos we have the perfection of the moon cycle with the perfect sun cycle — a combination of the Divine service of “Daily sacrifices and Mussaf offerings.”

In this framework we can see that the Shabbos after the 10th of Shvat and the day of the 15th of Shvat will be superimposed on this special theme of the month of Shvat and the 10th of Shvat.

What is the theme of Shvat: spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit and the fountains of Chassidus. This was also the main goal of the Previous Rebbe (whose yahrzeit is the 10th of Shvat). Now, this approach in the Divine service must take on the dual system of “Daily sacrifices and Mussaf offerings,” both together.

Just as during every moment of this Shabbos we experience both the Shabbos day and the 15th of the month, similarly, our dual effort must take the form, that every action we do in reaching out to spread Torah, must have both aspects of the “regular” and the “additional” (Daily sacrifices and Mussaf offerings).

This same thought was stressed when Rosh Chodesh occurred on Shabbos (two weeks ago). For there, too, we emphasized the dual role of “regular” and “additional.”

Here, however, we find a quality above and beyond what we discussed there. For the true, actual (not potential) perfection of the moon takes place on the 15th, as all can see.

Now, on this day, when the 15th combines with the Shabbos we reach the apex of lunar growth and at the same time we begin to speak of the higher level of bittul and humility — thus we bring together all of these aspects of the lunar perfection and thereby accentuate the power of combining the dual path of service of G‑d — the “Daily sacrifices and the Mussaf offerings.”

* * *

3. Today we read the portion of Beshallach and we begin reading the first part of Yisro during Minchah. In these two Torah portions we find important themes which we emphasize every day.

In Beshallach we find the chapter of the Manna, of which the Shulchan Aruch states: “It is advisable to recite the chapter of the Manna every day.” In Yisro we find the story of Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah at Sinai) of which the Shulchan Aruch writes: “It is a positive commandment to remember the gathering (our presence) at Sinai every day.”

Additionally, both of these episodes have a special connection with the Shabbos day. The Torah was given to the Jewish people on Shabbos, and although the Manna did not fall on Shabbos, nevertheless, Chassidus explains that it was the blessing of Shabbos which bestowed the benevolence of the Manna during the six days of the week.

As it turned out, the Manna came first and then we received the Torah, as the Mechilta states:

The Torah was given to those who ate the Manna. (Mechilta, Beshallach 16:4)

Now in both cases we find a common denominator. Something very lofty is drawn down below without any change. Matan Torah represents a phenomenon whereby the lofty Torah descended from the spiritual heavens to the material earth without undergoing any metamorphosis; for now too:

Is not My word like a fire! (Yeshayahu 23:29)

Manna is called “bread from Heaven,” it came from “heaven” yet it was eaten and digested like earthly food — but it retained its loftiness in that there was no waste — all of it was completely absorbed in the body.

Here we see the analogy to the work of spreading Yiddishkeit and the fountains of Chassidus; the lofty wellsprings must descend and reach the lowest and farthest place. And yet still maintain its own entity of being the fountainhead.

Just as Chassidus explains that the source of the manna which fell for the Jews six days a week came from the Shabbos, similarly, the power we draw to go out and spread Yiddishkeit and the fountains of Chassidus also comes from the encouragement we take on Shabbos.

Although on Shabbos we may not “go out” to work in spreading Torah — nevertheless our farbrengen, interest and discussions on Shabbos will create the drive and enthusiasm to invigorate our outreach work all week long.

The principle of attending to communal affairs and making good resolutions on Shabbos, especially the Shabbos following the hillula day, may be directly associated with the theme of the Previous Rebbe.

We know that the Previous Rebbe’s concerted efforts in spreading Yiddishkeit and in reaching out to the outside was personified in his name “Yosef.” For the name means: “(Yosef) — may G‑d grant (ben acher) another son to me” (Bereishis 30:24); that one who was previously seen as an “acher,” “an other,” will become a “son.”

Why do we discuss communal matters on Shabbos, because the Gemara says:

We may attend to communal (tzibbur) matters on Shabbos. (Shabbos 15a set. var.)

Now the word Tz’iB’U’R’ is an acrostic of tzaddikim, beinonim and resha’im, or, more correctly, it indicates the combination of the rasha with the beinoni and tzaddik. In a sense it is the conversion of the rasha to be like the tzaddik. This is similar to the “other” who becomes a “son,” which is the goal of disseminating the wellsprings.

The “vav” of the word “tzibbur” likewise, esoterically symbolizes the downward radiation in a manner which will cause no change in the benevolence.

It should also be noted that the ultimate redemption is associated with the letter vav.

As Rashi tells us on the verse:

Then I will remember My covenant with Yaakov — in five places in Scripture the name Yaakov is written plene (full — with a vav) and the name Eliyahu is written defectively (without a vav) in five places, to intimate that Yaakov took one letter of Eliyahu’s name as a pledge that at some future time he should come and proclaim the good tidings of his descendants’ redemption. (Rashi, Vayikra 26:42)

The bottom line is to carry out all our good intentions in action.

There are those who are truly enthused and motivated at the time of the farbrengen, but when they go out into the world the enthusiasm dissipates until the next farbrengen when once again they are stimulated.

In fact, there are those who rationalize that to have parnasah (sustenance) they must accept the power of worldliness and acquiesce to the timetable of the marketplace; when to put aside their business and deal with Torah study, a Chassidishe farbrengen, or reaching out to spread Yiddishkeit.

When they are shown the rule of Halachah which decries this approach, they answer, that nevertheless, this is the way to deal with the material world: “When you enter a town follow its customs!” (Bereishis Rabbah 48:14) You cannot expect them to leave everything and be involved in “Ufaratzta,” they are troubled and confused by their parnasah problems!

A parable may be presented here: A man decides to count the flies that are hovering above his head with the hope that by doing so he will be rid of his torture. Not only will it not help, but it will also increase his suffering, better to spend the time reciting Tehillim!

In our case the proper and wise advice is for them to ignore the problem; their worries is their problem. Stop worrying about the problems of earning a living. Clear your mind for the main goal of spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit, especially in the time of the galus. Enthusiasm is not lacking, resolutions and motivation is plentiful at the time of the farbrengen, the problem is to carry the good feelings into action during the week; and with zealousness, because time is of the essence — being that our time is limited.

The Previous Rebbe once explained that in this era, at the “heels of Mashiach,” zealousness is very important, because, allegorically, we are climbing a steep cliff, and in order not to fall back we must keep moving up. Walking up a slight incline one can afford to stop for a rest, but climbing a cliff there is nowhere to stand — he must keep going. On the other hand when one climbs an incline the going is easy but it takes a long time to reach the summit — when you scale the cliff each step lifts you higher and very soon you reach the top, directly.

In our generation our Divine service must be condensed into the short period of time that we have left, to scale the peaks.

May G‑d grant that this discussion and encouragement will come to fruition and everyone will increase his and her activities in spreading Torah, Yiddishkeit and the wellsprings of Chassidus zealously and broadly. The more you do and the quicker you do it, the more meritorious.

And may all our actions bring the true and complete redemption closer through our righteous Mashiach. Then we will witness the elimination of Amalek and the revelation of Mashiach’s Torah, may it all be soon, true and real.

* * *

4. Recently we have been studying the Laws of Creditor and Debtor in Mishnah Torah. In the first chapter of this section the Rambam writes:

Lending money to the poor man is a more meritorious deed than giving charity to him who begs for it, for the one has already been driven to begging, while the other has not yet reached that stage. (Laws of Creditors and Debtors 1:1)

The hope is that by giving the loan to the poor man, he will not reach the stage of having to beg for alms.

In the same halachah the Rambam had introduced the Laws of Lending by saying:

It is an affirmative commandment to lend to the poor of Israel. For it is written, “If you lend money to any of My people, to the poor with you.” (Shmos 22:24, Ibid.)

Careful study of the words “to the poor of Israel” would seem to indicate that this mitzvah applies only for poor people. In the Talmud however we find a clear ruling:

Gemilus Chassadim (free loan) can be given both to the rich and to the poor.

The Alter Rebbe in his Shulchan Aruch begins the laws of borrowing by quoting the above Rambam but then he immediately goes on to write:

From here we learn the mitzvah of lending to the poor man. If a rich man needs a loan temporarily how do we know that we have a commandment to lend to him? Therefore the Torah tells us “to any of My people.”

Being that this law is relevant at all times, how is it possible that the Rambam did not mention the rule of the plain Gemara, that it is a mitzvah to lend to the rich when they need it?

Let us likewise review a rule in today’s section of Rambam. The Rambam writes:

There is a presumption that a man does not pay a debt before its maturity. (Laws of Creditors and Debtors 11:6)

This halachah is based on the discussion in the Talmud between Resh Lakish and Abaye and Rava.

Resh Lakish has laid down: If a lender stipulates a date for the repayment of a loan, and the borrower pleads [when the date of payment arrives] that he paid the debt before it fell due, his words are not accepted. Let him only pay when it does fall due! [There is a presumption that a person does not pay a loan before it falls due; either, because when the date was agreed upon the borrower indicated that he could not pay earlier, or, it is simply not the nature of people to pay ahead of time.] Abaye and Rava, however, both concur in saying that it is not unusual for a man to pay a debt before it falls due; sometimes he happens to have money, and he says to himself, “I will go and pay him, so that he may not trouble me.” (B. Basra 5a-b)

The Gemara ultimately rules that the halachah is according to the opinion of Resh Lakish and consequently the Rambam so rules.

This ruling applies when the lender pays his debt during the time period, prior to the date set for repayment. However, on the day of repayment itself, if the borrower claims that he paid earlier in the day, then he isbelieved!

In the case of a loan we can understand how there can be a difference of opinion among the sages whether or not a person pays his loan ahead of time. However, there are cases of debt where Abaye and Rava will also concur that a person does not pay ahead of time. They will rule this way when the actual requirement to pay does not fall until later on — then the debtor will not be responsible to pay before the time.

An example of this type of debt would be the payment of rent on a house. Talmudic law states that when one rents a house, the rent is due at the end of the rental period (B. Metzia 105b, Rashi, loc. cit.). The reason for this being that the payment is not due until the service is completely received, and there is a possibility that the house might collapse, or that the owner’s home might collapse and he would dislodge the renter from the apartment. In all those possible cases there would not be any rent due. Therefore all opinions agree that if someone claims rent before the end of the set time and the lessee claims that he paid before the set time, he is not believed.

Another example would be the mitzvah of Pidyon Haben (re-deeming the firstborn son from a Kohen). If the father dies before the baby reaches the initial 30-day period we presume that the Pidyon was not done. Because during the 30 days the debt was not certain, there was the chance that the child might die and then there would be no debt. In such a case also, a person definitely does not pay ahead of time.

In the case of a loan, however, the borrower definitely owes the money from the moment he gets the loan; all his possessions are mortgaged against the loan from the day of acceptance. It is only that Abaye and Rava hold that some people do repay their loans before the due date, while Resh Lakish says they do not.

All of these laws have been discussed at great length by the classic halachic commentaries and codifiers throughout the centuries. Let us therefore concentrate on the moral teaching which may be derived from the case of Pidyon Haben, viewing it from an esoteric approach.

Chassidus explains that the symbolic meaning of Pidyon Ha-ben is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, redeems His firstborn son Israel from the diaspora.

Now we know that the Gemara says: “If they are worthy — I will hasten it” meaning, that G‑d will hasten the coming of Mashiach; when we conduct ourselves in a worthy manner, then G‑d will redeem His firstborn ahead of time!

How can this be?! The Midrash teaches:

He declares His word to Yaakov,”...G‑d only tells Israel to do and observe those things which He Himself does.” (Shmos Rabbah 30:9)

Thus, G‑d follows the rules which He has set down for us. How can He redeem us sooner than the time? All agree in the case of Pidyon Haben that payment is not made until the end of the time period!?

We may answer this question simply, by saying that in the case of a human body there is the fear that the child might die and then the father will not be placed in debt. But in the case of G‑d’s redemption of the Jewish people, G‑d certainly has the responsibility, for G‑d promised that He would redeem us, and therefore the onus rests on Him right from the outset, not at any later time.

Moreover, when we went into exile the Shechinah was also exiled, as the Gemara says:

To every place to where they were exiled the Shechinah went with them. (Megillah 29a)

And the redemption of the Holy One, Blessed be He, “depends” on the deliverance of the Jewish people, as the Gemara relates further:

Then the L‑rd your G‑d will return your captivity. It does not say here “Veheishiv” [and He shall bring back] but “Veshav” [and He shall return]. This teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will return with them from their places of exile. (Ibid.)

Just as it is certain that G‑d will leave the galus (allegorically speaking) so too, it is obvious, that He will take the Jewish people out of the diaspora.

Thus, there is no rationale for postponing the deliverance, so long as we are meritorious, Mashiach must come. Even Resh Lakish will agree that in such a case the debtor may pay ahead of time, because he has no difficulty in doing it.

In speaking of G‑d’s firstborn we should not be detained even a split-second. For the Shechinah is also in galus!

Does G‑d want our spiritual “five coins of silver”? — Well, let Him redeem us and then we will serve G‑d with true love — all the silver He wants!

Therefore, we must cry out “How long?” “End the galus!” “We want to leave the galus immediately!” Right now in the midst of Shabbos!

When such clear words are spoken there are many who are reluctant to let these words penetrate, and they show amazement and annoyance. For example:

One group of people argues that in a few hours Shabbos will end, at which time they will enter again their weekday lifestyles: business, profession, using the telephone, etc., matters about which they must not think during Shabbos. Why talk about crying out “How long” when they have other matters and other problems on their heads.

It is to them that we say, “Go out of the galus,” their own inner exile, being sunk in the crass materialism of the world — physicality did not satisfy them — they had to sink into the grossness of the world! Why did they follow the dictates of the “old foolish king” (evil inclination), they should listen to the “wise child” the yetzer tov and think about their G‑dly soul!

A second group is halachically minded.

They argue that since on Shabbos we may not carry into the street, then how can we leave the galus, “What about the ‘scarf,’“ it cannot be carried and we must not leave anything behind. For we are concerned about every penny (see Chullin 91a), especially the expensive red “scarf”.... How can they leave the galus?!

To them we say. It is the accepted practice to wrap the scarf around your neck and then go out into the public domain. Do that, take your shawl, wrap it around you and march out of the galus! But even more important, how can you think about the scarf when the Jewish people are in galus? The angels and the Shechinah, anthropomorphically speaking, are all in galus, you yourself are in exile, even though you do not see it!

There are others who claim “We must follow the custom of our fathers. We never saw our fathers crying out ‘How long!?’“

The answer to their argument is, they cannot compare to their grandparents, their grandfather did not read “newspapers.” The Shabbos day was something special, dedicated completely to holiness, Torah, prayer and worship of G‑d. Today it’s not the same.

And then again, why listen to all the arguments, one thing is important — to leave the galus as soon as possible — so we must call out — “How long.”

If you argue that on Shabbos we must be happy — no room for sadness — well do it with joy!

If all mitzvos must be performed joyously, how much more so the great action of leaving the galus, must certainly be done with joy and happiness.

So I say, “Jews, go out of the galus.” We know that actually G‑d must deliver us from the exile, but we must cryout and we must put our mind and our will in the theme of redemption and then it will happen.

G‑d will come and redeem us together with the Shechinah.

In the portion of Beshallach we read that Pharaoh sent the Jews out of Egypt. We too have settled the account with our “Pharaohs,” we only have to work things out with our Jews, that they should want to leave the diaspora. This change of heart can be instantaneous, in a moment they can be “truly righteous,” and penitent, and then the redemption will be immediate.

5. Let us now return to the subject of the “chazakah,” presumption, that a borrower does not pay back before the set time.

In my father’s notes on Zohar he discussed the principle that a person should always give alms to the pauper before he is forced to beg for it.

With this in mind, we may understand the presumption of never prepaying a loan, not only because of the attitude of the borrower but also from the vantage point of the lender. The Rambam had said that a loan was a greater kindness because it was given to one who has not reached the state of begging. Now we may understand from this, that a lender should never demand prepayment of the loan — for then he would be defeating his purpose; he might shame the borrower.

The Rambam clearly states that one must not demand payment when he knows that the debtor cannot pay. He is not even permitted to show himself to his creditor so as not to scare him or shame him. This is the halachah after the time of payment, certainly so, before the time.

Thus, the fact that a loan is not paid early might be because the creditor would not ask for it!

We may now understand the Rambam’s use of the term, “To lend to the poor of Israel.” At this moment the rich man may be needy; in a sense he is now poor! Therefore he is included in the positive command “to lend to the poor of Israel!”

But, why does the Rambam include the “rich man” in the term “poor man”? To teach us an important lesson, as the Rambam writes in the Laws of Gifts to the Poor:

He who gives alms to the poor man...should give with a friendly countenance and joyfully. (Laws of Gifts to the Poor 10:4)

This same concept applies to loans.

When one lends money to a poor man he feels sorry for him. After all, his “soul is bitter,” and he is “downtrodden” and “pitiful.” For this reason the lender goes out of his way to show a friendly countenance and give the loan with joy. Not so when one lends to a rich man, even if at the moment the rich man is genuinely in need. Somehow, you cannot awaken the same emotion in the rich man.

Here the Rambam indicates that if the borrower is poor (actually or temporarily) he should be viewed as poor and must be respected and cared for. You must show the same friendly countenance, joy and mercy in lending to the rich man as to the real poor man.

We are all poor paupers relative to the Holy One, Blessed be He, and “For righteousness is Yours, L‑rd” (Daniel 9:7). No matter what benevolence G‑d gives us here it is infinitesimal compared to the true revelation in the future, so we are all poor. So we ask G‑d to please give us “charity” from His full, open, holy and rich hand and with a happy countenance — materially and spiritually.

The greatest tzedakah for us will be the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach, truly Now!