By the Grace of G‑d
Erev Shabbos Kodesh
Rosh Chodesh Nissan
Sedra of the Week: Vayikro el MosheParshas HaChodesh, 5745
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere

G‑d bless you all!

Greeting and Blessing:

At this time — Erev Shabbos Kodesh Rosh Chodesh Nissan — it is timely to reflect on the significance of the month of Nissan, the month of Geulo, which the Torah designates — in the reading of Parshas HaChodesh this Shabbos — as ‘‘Head of the Months” and “First of the Months of the Year.”

Rosh Chodesh Nissan occurs this year on the day of Shabbos; consequently also the first day of Pesach occurs on Shabbos. It is therefore appropriate to dwell on several interrelated aspects of Pesach and Shabbos, with emphasis on actively pertinent lessons derived therefrom, down to the everyday life and conduct.

The central aspect of Pesach is Zman Cheiruseinu, the Festival of Our Liberation from enslavement in Egypt — Yetzias Mitzraim in a manner of a triumphant exodus (“with an upraised arm’’) — completely free from any kind of slavery and anxiety, in order to receive the Torah and Mitzvos and become a Holy Nation.

Likewise is the central aspect of Shabbos: Tishbos (rest) and lKadsho (sanctification), namely, to rest and be free from all weekday activities, so that it should be a “Shabbos unto HaShem your G‑d,’’ dedicated entirely to G‑dly matters, “a delight to our soul to walk in the ways of HaShem.”

All the more so since Shabbos is also a “Memorial to Yetzias Mitzraim,’’ which, in addition to the plain meaning, contains also the inner meaning: an “exodus” from restraints, limitations, and external influences in the realm of the spirit, imposed by the physical aspects of the material world. For the material constrains the spiritual, and it should be the other way, that the material should be subservient to the spiritual;

And in human life in general this means, that the body should be subservient to, and a true vessel for, the soul.

In follows, therefore, that one of the basic instructions of Z’man Cheiruseinu, further accentuated when it coincides with Shabbos is, that the spiritual freedom should be reflected in, and dominate, the everyday life of every Jew, so that it can be clearly seen that the soul together with the body are involved in serving HaShem — and enthusiastically so, “with an upraised arm.’


Add to the above the special aspect of Shabbos, namely, that of Oneg Shabbos, “Shabbos Delight,” which is a unique and basic Mitzvah pertaining to Shabbos. This is the deep inner feeling of delight which a Jew perceives when Shabbos comes and takes him out of the day-to-day drudgery and uplifts him and places him in a world of spirituality and holiness, where even the physical necessities of eating and drinking and the like are transformed into acts of fulfillment of a commandment of “HaShem your G‑d” and thus become a true spiritual delight. Moreover, this is attained not through an inner battle, under compulsion, but with serenity and pleasantness, the body also savoring with delight the taste of spirituality.

This, coupled with the fact that Shabbos is a memorial to Yetzias Mitzraim, intensifies the feeling of oneg and thereby stimulates the fullest expression of “Yetzias Mitzraim” in actual practice.

A feature common to both oneg and cheirus is that both must permeate all parts, details and aspects of the person, from the highest to the lowest, of both the soul and the body. Otherwise, there would, of course, be a lack of completeness in the pleasure as well as in the liberty.

And just as it is in the case of an individual, so it is in the case of Klal Yisrael, which is one complete entity, like one body comprised of various parts, from head to foot.

Comes Pesach and emphasizes that Zman Cheiruseinu must pervade all parts of Klal Yisroel, from the “all wise” to the “one who knows not what to ask,” including the infants (in the plain sense, as well as the spiritual “infants”), also those whose interest has to be roused by various means so that they would not “fall asleep at the Seder table.”


May it be HaShem’s Will that, as we are entering the month of Nissan, the Month of Geulo, He should help and be matzli’ach everyone, so that everyone, man and woman, “with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters,” should make all necessary preparations to receive the Yom Tov of Our Liberation in the fullest scope of cheirus and oneg, to pervade and animate all aspects of one’s life, down to everyday life, each and every day of the entire year — “in all the days of your life,” according to both interpretations of these words by our Sages of blessed memory, namely, the days and the nights, in this world and in the days of Moshiach;

And this will be the near prelude to the fulfillment of the promise, “all (nations, the whole world)— shall know that You, HaShem, alone, are supreme over all the earth,”

A short prelude also to the fulfillment of our every day prayer, which we hope for all the day long, the true and complete Geulo through Mashiach Tzidkeinu, that will be “with serenity and pleasantness you shall be delivered,” very soon in our own days.

With esteem and blessing for
Hatzlocho in all above and
for a Kosher and joyous Pesach

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/