1. Let us peruse the variegated facets and aspects of this Shabbos:

(A) EveryShabbos has several unique qualities:

The Shabbos has already been sanctified [from the creation] and so continues. (Beitzah 17a)

EveryShabbos also has the attribute of bringing completion and perfection to all matters of the preceding week:

Vayechulu — the heavens and the earth and all their hosts were completed. (Bereishis 2:1)

This perfection attains the state of “delight” on Shabbos.

Another aspect which applies to everyShabbos is conveyed in the aphorism:

For the six days receive blessing from the seventh, (Zohar II, p. 63b)

Shabbos radiates blessing to the following week.

(B) Another facet of this Shabbos is that it is a Shabbos Mevarchim, when we bless the upcoming month. In this respect this Shabbos bestows its benison not only on the following days of the week, but also on all the days of the coming month.

This aspect is directly associated with today’s farbrengen, as the Previous Rebbe instituted farbrengens on every Shabbos Mevarchim.

(C) There is an individual importance to Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan.

(D) Today is Shabbos Bereishis which invariably follows Simchas Torah, hence this week’s “Vayechulu” brings elevation to the aspects of Simchas Torah, namely the closing of the holiday season of Tishrei.

Thus, there are characteristics which this Shabbos shares in common with other Shabbosim of the year, and there are aspects in which this Shabbos rises to greater heights than the average Shabbos.

What is the unique quality of Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan? We have discussed the teaching of the “three shepherds.” (The Alter Rebbe, who repeated it in the name of the Great Maggid, who heard it from the Baal Shem Tov):

The seventh month is the first month of the year and the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself, blesses the month on the Shabbos Mevarchim which is the last Shabbos of the month of Elul. It is with this power that the Jewish people bless the other months, eleven times a year. (HaYom Yom, 25th of Elul)

The month of MarCheshvan is the first month to be blessed with that power! Of course in the case of G‑d’s blessing there is no difference between the first time and the thousandth time, but when we pronounce a benediction — something new is better, more exciting and stronger. But is this really something new? Last year we also had a Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan?!

There is, however, a distinction. In Tanya we find:

And every year there descends and radiates a new and renewed light which never yet shone.... So sublime a light as has never shone yet since the beginning of the world. (Iggeres Hakodesh ch. 14)

Consequently, the new year brings a newexistence and therefore the blessing of this Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan is something completely new.

An analogy may be drawn from the subject of teshuvah. The Talmud teaches that teshuvah must be a continuous exercise:

And thus his whole life is spent in repentance. (Shabbos 153a)

Giving Jews the benefit of the doubt and taking into account that “Your people are all righteous,” (Yeshayahu 60:21) we will assume that Jews do exercise continualteshuvah.

And yet, we find that “The Torah already offered assurance that Israel will ... finally repent ... and thereupon immediately be redeemed.” (Laws of Teshuvah 7:5) Clearly, there is a second, stronger aspect of teshuvah above and beyond the level of daily teshuvah, which is necessary to bring the redemption.

This second type of teshuvah must be immeasurably and incomparably higher, with the power to effectuate the quantum leap from diaspora into redemption, which will be accomplished only by generating a newsupernaldesire.

The Previous Rebbe explained that we are in galus because of G‑d’s will and we will leave the galus when G‑d wills it. Thus to precipitate the exodus we must engender a new “desire” for the Holy One, Blessed be He. The ultimate liberation must reach down to the lowest depth, and must therefore emanate from the loftiest heights. Consequently, the teshuvah which engenders that new supernal desire, must be super-powerful and, in a completely different frame of reference (not at all relative) from the normal service of teshuvah.

This brings us back to the subject at hand. Although last year we also observed Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan, this year there are new revelations, new life, new light — and all on a higher plane. In this context, this Shabbos Mevarchim is unique, because it is the first one in the year on which Jews bless the new month with the power of G‑d’s new blessing of Tishrei. This knowledge must influence our attitudes, as well as our actions, for we must “live” with the teachings of Torah.

This aspect of being first is enhanced, since this Shabbos is the first Shabbos after Simchas Torah. The blessing bestowed by G‑d on the month of Tishrei is given on Shabbos Nitzavim which has the same theme as Rosh Hashanah — standing united together to crown the King. Certain aspects of the powers of Rosh Hashanah are “hidden” during the first half of the month and are “revealed” during Sukkos, and reach the apex of revelation on Simchas Torah, the ultimate day of the festivals — the day of supreme rejoicing. This Shabbos, which followsSimchasTorah, brings perfection to the days of the preceding week including all the aspects of Simchas Torah. Consequently, the blessings of G‑d bestowed upon the month of Tishrei on Shabbos Nitzavim (Mevarchim Tishrei) reach their absolute perfection on this Shabbos! Now do you see the enormous potency of the blessing of this Shabbos for the month of MarCheshvan?!

It should be noted that SimchasTorah expresses the aspect of happiness and joy of all of the festivals in the fullest measure; all the levels of rejoicing rise from holiday to holiday to reach the peak during Simchas Torah. Similarly, the revelation of Rosh Hashanah reaches its apex on Simchas Torah. Hence this Shabbos, which incorporates the “Vayechulu” of Simchas Torah, carries the full impact of the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He for the months of the year generated before Rosh Hashanah. This richness will continue into the subsequent Shabbos Mevarchim weeks of the year. Being called “Shabbos Bereishis” also conveys this concept. Just as the “rosh — head” includes and appropriates life to all parts of the body, so too, this Shabbos is a rosh (reishis), transmitting the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to all the months of the year and to all aspects of the year.

Standing in close proximity to the place where the Previous Rebbe, Nasi of our generation, spent the last ten years of his worldly life adds immeasurable strength to those forces and gives us the potential to utilize all of these forces — and we must strive to reveal our deepest powers, not just the external powers, but the essential, inner powers. It is not easy, but it must be effected. And it must penetrate and animate all of the internalattributes and garments of the soul, down to the “soles” of his feet.

Good resolutions are very helpful in overcoming the schemes of the yetzer hora but they must be implemented instantaneously! It must be carried out immediately, in joy, and dancing and extreme rejoicing, in an immeasurable way.

[The Rebbe Shlita at this point stood up and began to sing the Hakkafos song of his father and danced in his place for a period of time with great and extreme joy.]

2. Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan is fixed, this year, on Tuesday and Wednesday, of this coming week. This is, of course, directly connected to the days of the week on which Simchas Torah, and Rosh Hashanah occurred. When Rosh Hashanah occurs on Monday then Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan will be on Tuesday.

In all matters we must find a lesson for our Divine service. Likewise, here, too, we may garner a lesson from the setting of Rosh Chodesh and Shabbos Mevarchim MarCheshvan.

Let us go back for a moment to the lesson we learned from the fixing of Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday, the second and third day of the week. It was explained that the combination of the ordinal numbers of second and third symbolizes the process of sweetening the attribute of gevurah (severity): The number two, indicates gevurah — severity, and three, indicates peace, the taming and reconciliation of opposition.

Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday indicates the conversion of the severe might of Gevurah through the worship and service of Rosh Hashanah.

When gevurah is converted the resultant revelation of kindness and benevolence is immenselyincreased. Chassidus explains that gevurah, being the attribute of power and might can generate much more benevolence than chessed (kindness) alone. Thus, the transformation of severity releases this potential, stored up and restrained effulgence of goodness, which then radiates with immeasurable intensity. This explains why the main source of blessing is Yitzchok, who really represents the attribute of gevurah.

Consequently, when Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday and Tuesday, the theme of sweetening the might is in place. The result is more revelation of benevolence on Simchas Torah, which then occurs on Tuesday, and has the blessing of double “Ki Tov — it was good.”

Moreover, when we read both VeZos HaBerachah and Bereishis on Simchas Torah we attach a doubleblessing to the doubleblessing, for it is as if the Tuesday is doubled since it applies to two Torah portions.

Now to the matter of Rosh Chodesh on Tuesday and Wednesday. What is the symbolism of the association of the third and fourth days of the week? The Gemara tells us that the sequence of Gimmel, Daled has the meaning: “Show kindness to the poor [G’emol D’allim].” (Shabbos 104a)

This indicates the transfer of benevolence from the rich man to the poor man. The Divine plan calls for poor and rich to exist, but the rich much show kindness and charity to the poor. As a result, both the recipient and the benefactor are enriched. As the Midrash states:

The poor man does more for the master of the house, than the latter does for him. (Vayikra Rabbah 34:8)

This same thought may also be applied in the benevolence that is bestowed and the light that is radiated from the “higher” worlds: Emanation, Formation and Creation; to the lower world: Action. There must be the downward devolution and radiation; this is the “G’emol D’allim” — but at the same time the higher worlds attain their perfection and reach their goal by creating a dwelling place for the “Ein Sof” (Infinite), specifically in the lower world of physicality and action.

The dichotomy between benefactor and beneficiary on the one hand, and the required symbiotic, interaction of giver and receiver on the other hand, may also be found in the months of Tishrei and MarCheshvan.

The theme of Tishrei is basically spiritual: It starts with engendering the Kingship of G‑d on Rosh Hashanah, and is followed with the service of the Ten Days of Repentance, and then the worship of the “Holy Day” of Yom Kippur. In the second part of the month we have the four days leading to Sukkos, corresponding to the four letters of G‑d’s Name, then the rejoicing of Sukkos which reaches its climactic apogee on Simchas Torah, and finally Shabbos Bereishis which effects “Vayechulu,” perfection and completion, in all the aspects of Simchas Torah.

Then comes the month of MarCheshvan. In MarCheshvan the emphasis changes: “And Yaakov went on his way.” (Bereishis 32:1) Here we are dealing with the person’s yearly Divine service; being involved in the secular world in order to purify it. It is at this time that we must “unpack” and use the spiritual merchandise that we acquired during Tishrei. The parable is given that during Tishrei one is like the merchant who goes to the fair to buy and acquire merchandise, then he returns to his home town to unpack and do business with the material he bought.

The name “MarCheshvan” carries this point out. “Mar” means a drop of water. Clearly it is referring to the rain which we start praying for in Cheshvan. The prayer for rain was initiated on Shemini Atzeres, but then it was only the projection of the prayer, for the Gemara says that the actual daily prayer for rain began on the seventh day of Cheshvan after all the visitors to Yerushalayim would have returned to the furthest reaches of the Euphrates, in Babylon. This shows us that the blessings of MarCheshvan were needed after the people returned home and undertook their agrarian occupations and got involved again in their worldly activities.

In modern times this worldly involvement begins on Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan. This is self-evident in our communities and much more obvious for those who have left their homes and families to spend the month of Tishrei here. They get back into the swing of things at home after Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan.

Thus, Tishrei represents the Divine service of involvement in spiritual matters, symbolic of the three spiritual worlds of Emanation, Formation and Creation, while the Divine service of MarCheshvan entails involvement in material matters, symbolic of the world of Action.

The ultimate purpose is “G’emol D’allim,” the lofty celestial forces of Tishrei (three) shall be bestowed upon, and revealed in, the temporal reality, the secular and the profane of MarCheshvan. This will assure the consummation of the Divine design for a dwelling place in the lower worlds.

What does all this teach us? The two days of Rosh Chodesh are one continuity; one theme. We must take the double blessing of Tuesday, the third day of the week (gimmel), with all the power it accrued during Tishrei, and transmit the holiness and blessing to Wednesday, the fourth day (daled), in the manner of “G’emol D’allim,” to infuse and enthuse the worldliness with G‑dliness. Tuesday is still in the month of Tishrei — so it makes sense that the powers of Tishrei will be metamorphosed into MarCheshvan — Wednesday.

Although it might represent a devolution — it is a descent which perfects and completes the purpose and goal of everything. The highest worlds reach their raisond’etre when they descend into the lowest world, just as Tishrei finds its true purpose when it seeps into the Divine service of MarCheshvan. It irradiates and elevates the corporeal matters of daily life and performs the role of making a dwelling place for G‑d: “The deed is of the essence.”

Therefore, having completed the work of Tishrei and having attained all its lofty plateaus, having been in the precincts of the Previous Rebbe, and now standing ready to return home to your normal, secular occupation, you must remember that your ultimate goal is: “G’emol D’allim” — “Show kindness to the poor.” For you might mistakenly believe that proceeding from such lofty pursuits it behooves you to immerse yourselves wholly in lofty, spiritual matters and advance higher and higher. Stop! Take heed! Your goal is to show kindness to the poor — to draw the loftiness of your Tishreiexperience into the lowliness of daily existence — into your matters of choice.

More specifically, to draw the loftiness into activities on behalf of others. When you meet a Jew who is on the level of a “pauper” — be it materially or spiritually — your “chance” meeting is for the express purpose that you must bestow goodness and benevolence in all that this Jew lacks.

You say there are others who are already involved in such undertakings! No matter; Divine Providence has brought the opportunity to you and you must act.

This is your ultimate accomplishment, and at the same time, remember:

The poor man does more for the master of the house than the latter does for him.

This is what G‑d wants, your action: tzedakah, to those who are needy, tefillin for those who will not don them by themselves, etc.

Our positive resolutions today will give us the strength and potential to actually carry this out — and will also give us the merit of the mitzvah immediately.

When we make the proper resolution in the month of MarCheshvan. we will merit the reward which we are expecting in MarCheshvan, the dedication of the Third Bais HaMikdash. As the Yalkut writes, the Holy One, Blessed be He will repay the month of MarCheshvan with the dedication of the ThirdBaisHaMikdash. (Book of Kings I:184)

May it come quickly “with the clouds of Heaven” (Daniel 7:13) and then all the Jewish people will proceed: “Our youth and our elders, our sons and daughters,” to the Holy Land, to Yerushalayim, the Holy City, “That is built like a city in which [all Israel] is united together.” (Tehillim 122:3) To the Third Bais HaMikdash which will be built in the month of Tishrei. And the dedication will last seven days into the month of Cheshvan. So may it be, speedily, in our day and in our time, in the corporeal, real world.

* * *

3. On Simchas Torah it was mentioned that the appropriate Chumash section for that day was from shlishi (third reading section) of VeZos HaBerachah until the end of the portion, and from the beginning of Bereishis until the end of the shlishi section.

On this a question was raised: In the listing of daily study sections (published in the lifetime of the Previous Rebbe) it says that on Simchas Torah we are to complete VeZos HaBerachah and then on the day after Sukkos we start Bereishis and conclude with the section of that day of the week. And so, the question was posed: why was it said that on Simchas Torah the learning section was to start with the beginning of Bereishis?!

Before approaching this question one point should be made clear. The subject of which section of Chumash to study on the day of Simchas Torah is not related to the special quality of Simchas Torah this year, that it possesses a doubleportion of the doubleblessing of “Ki Tov — it was good.” No matter what part we learn, the fact remains, that on Simchas Torah both Berachah and Bereishis are read and therefore the day represents the third day of the week of Berachah, as well as the third day of the week of Bereishis (the double third day).

What we are dealing with now is what portion to study as the assigned Torah portion for the day. Let us first analyze the aforementioned directive of the listing of daily study sections. Our practice of studying the daily reading section of the Chumash portion may be traced back to the aphorism of the Alter Rebbe that we must “live with the times.” The Mitteler Rebbe explained the intention to mean the weekly and daily portion of Torah. Each day we should “live” with a message from the Torah designated for that day. This of course depends on which portion is being read that week and that day.

Well, on Simchas Torah we start reading Bereishis — is it not logical, then, to start “living” with the teachings of Bereishis? Following this reasoning it would seem strange that the study of Bereishis would have been postponed to the day after Sukkos! We should clearly be living with its teachings as of Simchas Torah. In our case — Tuesday.

The explanation is that the Previous Rebbe declared that “the Mitzvah of Simchas Torah is rejoicing!” So much so, that every moment must be cherished and spent joyously. Consequently, the moments of the day are limited and must be used for rejoicing, therefore we cannot use more time for studying the additional portion of Bereishis! It can wait till “Isru Chag” (day after the holiday).

In the case of Berachah it cannot be postponed, because on Simchas Torah we conclude the reading of Berachah — on the morrow it no longer applies. But Bereishis will not be read until Shabbos — so it may be put off in order to utilize every moment of the day for joy.

If so, why was it suggested, this year, to also study Bereishis on Simchas Torah? If we need every moment for rejoicing it could have been postponed.

However, I became aware of the fact that there were those — at least ten — who had not been truly utilizing everymoment for rejoicing — they found time for other activities during the day or night (it was apparent on their faces). Well, since they were interrupting their joy anyway, I proposed the suggestion that they should also study the portion of Bereishis, as they no longer had the justification of using everymoment for joy.

At no time was it my suggestion to minimize in dancing, singing or rejoicing, to study Bereishis — rather, in the intermissions to the exuberance, instead of doing other matters, they should study the section of Bereishis.

It is therefore no wonder that I made the pronouncement — since it pertained to at least a minyan of Jews. It should also be noted that the importance of studying the daily sections of Chitas — Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim, applies to everyone from the highest level to the lowest and it is necessary to remind and impress anyone who may not be utilizing all moments of the day for joy.

In fact sometimes the simple Jew is more careful than the scholar in heeding the directive of the Alter Rebbe to learn the daily portion — for the scholar who is involved in more intricate study might put it off.

I once requested of the Previous Rebbe to publish certain Maamarim for Simchas Torah. The Rebbe smiled and asked: “Will people actually sit down on Simchas Torah and study Chassidic discourses?!” Nevertheless, I prevailed; a Maamar to be studied on Simchas Torah was published, and in fact there were those who did study it during Simchas Torah!

Are you surprised that his original opinion was not to publish the Maamar? Well there are matters which will materialize only through an “awakening from below.”

This phenomenon existed even in the times of the first NasiMoshe Rabbeinu. Chassidus explains that all benevolence to the people of the generation must come through the Nasi of that generation. When the Jews came to Moshe and asked for meat — Moshe recoiled and said, “Where can I get enough meat to give all these people?” (Bamidbar 11:13) The whole idea was repugnant to Moshe and he rejected it — until G‑d revealed to Moshe that even the meat must be channeled through him by means of the seventy elders who would share his spirit:

I will cause some of the spirit which you possess to emanate and I will grant it to them. (Ibid. 17)

Let me connect this thought with the subject of redemption. The Alter Rebbe had predicted that a certain year would herald the “end” of the galus. When that year came, the Rebbe Maharash approached the Tzemach Tzedek, his father, and argued that the Jewish people wanted and needed the actualadventofMashiach. It was necessary for the request to be expressed in the form of “anawakeningfrombelow,” which the Maharash presented to the Nasi, the Tzemach Tzedek.

Do we find a source for this process in halachah? Of course. The Rambam writes:

To pray daily is an affirmative duty ... that every person ... should offer supplication and prayer ... with humble supplication and petition ask for all that he needs. (Rambam, Laws of Prayer 1:1-2)

Now does this make sense? The Holy One, Blessed be He, is Omniscient, and the essence of the simplest of Jews is bound to, and connected with, G‑d. Is it necessary for the Jew to ask G‑d for that which G‑d knows he needs? The answer is that some things will only materialize when there is an “awakening from below” — and it must come from the depths of the heart of every Jew.

Sorry to say, there are a few who have still not learned the portion of Bereishis — let them see to it immediately after this farbrengen and from now on they should be diligent to study the proper section every day!

Hopefully my words will accomplish their goal, and even if only the slight possibility exists, I would still say it — for if I spoke only those matters which I was sure would be fulfilled, the farbrengens would be much shorter!

May it be the will of G‑d that by completing the responsibilities that we are required to do in speech, we will merit speedily to the fulfillment of the promise:

And the glory of the L‑rd shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the L‑rd has spoken it, (Yeshayahu 40:5)

the speech (word) of G‑d will reveal itself throughout the existing world.

The day of Shabbos likewise places special importance on a Jew’s speech:

He who prays on the eve of the Shabbos and recites, “vayechulu — were completed,” the Writ treats him as though he had become a partner with the Holy One, Blessed be He, in the creation. (Shabbos 119b)

When we are partners with G‑d — we may surely demand of G‑d and request of Him our needs as partners. Our main “need,” is the true and complete redemption, through our righteous Mashiach.

And with the advent of this Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan we will be able to offer the sacrifices in the Third Bais HaMikdash.

May our discussion bring to the reality speedily and truly in our time.

* * *

4. The Rambam writes at the beginning of the Laws of Substituted Offerings (today’s section):

.. If a congregation or joint owners substituted another for a dedicated beast, it is not deemed to be a substituted offering, even though they are forbidden to substitute another. I might have thought that whenever it is forbidden to substitute, the second animal automatically becomes a dedicated beast. The Rambam tells us this is not so. Thus we may say that if a private person substituted another beast, what is substituted is deemed to be holy ... but if it was one among joint owners who substituted it or if a man brought a substitute for any of the public offerings, inasmuch as he was a part owner thereof he is to be scourged (flogged), but what was substituted is not deemed to be holy. (Ch. 1)

What is the logic behind this? Why is the substitution of an individual binding and of the partner not binding?

Let us turn to the conclusion of the Laws of Substituted Offerings where the Rambam discusses the meaning and reasoning for the laws of Substitution. The Rambam writes:

Although all statutes in the Law (Torah) are Divine edicts, as we have explained at the close of Laws concerning Sacrilege, yet it is proper to ponder over them and to give a reason for them, so far as we are able to give them a reason. The sages of former times said that King Solomon understood most of the reasons for all the statutes of the Law.

The Rambam goes on:

It seems to me that insofar as Scripture has said: “Both it and that for which it is changed shall be holy” (Vayikra 27:10) — as also in that matter whereof it has said: “And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house then shall he add the fifth part of the money of thy validation” (Vayikra 27:15) — the Torah has plumbed the depths of man’s mind and the extremity of his evil impulse. For it is man’s nature to increase his possessions and to be sparing of his wealth. Even though a man had made a vow and dedicated something, it may be that later he drew back and repented and would now redeem it with something less than its value. But the Torah has said: “If he redeems it for himself he shall add a fifth.” So too, if a man dedicated a beast to the Sanctuary of its body, perchance he would draw back, and since he cannot redeem it, would change it for something of less worth. And if the right were given to him to change the bad for the good he would change the good for the bad and say, “It is good.” Therefore Scripture has stopped the way against him so that he should not change it and has penalized him if he should change it and has said: “Both it and that for which it was changed shall be holy.”

The Rambam concludes:

And both these laws serve to suppress man’s natural tendency and correct his moral qualities. And the greater part of the rules in the Law are but “counsels from of old” (Isaiah 25:1) from Him who is “great in counsel” (Yirmeyahu 32:19) to correct our moral qualities and to keep straight all our doings.

With this in mind, we can explain why the changes made by a partner or in a public offering would not effect an actual substitution. The Torah’s concern is that the owner might try to gain some benefit from substituting the offering.

When he is only one partner of several, his gain would very be negligible and especially so when we speak of his share in the communal offering. This would be in contrast to the fact that the sin of substituting would be onlyhis! One will not sin if he sees no profit from his crime.

This connection bears out the theme that the beginning is bound up with the end, etc. From the closing words of the Rambam we can clarify an unclear point in the opening halachah.

Of course, in these times our study of these laws is purely academic. But our hope is that soon we will be able to apply the laws and rules, when the true and complete redemption comes, through our righteous Mashiach.

The more we study about it, the sooner it will be here. The complete redemption for the complete nation with the complete Torah and mitzvos and the complete land — and in that state we will come to Our Holy Land, to the Holy City of Yerushalayim, to the Holy Mountain and the Bais HaMikdash, speedily and truly in our days.