1. The service of “Ya’akov went on his way” begins at the conclusion of the month of Tishrei. At that time we leave a month that is “filled with festivals” and enter the month of Cheshvan — a month during which we are involved with physical matters in this world, the lowest of all the worlds: The intention of that involvement is that we carry out G‑d’s will, as explained in Tanya: G‑d desired to have a dwelling place in the lower worlds.”

There are a number of levels in the service of “Ya’akov went on his way.” The first level begins in the month of Tishrei itself, starting with Motzaei Yom Kippur. That is when the drawing down of G‑dliness begins: then “Ya’akov” — the spiritual aspect symbolized by the name Ya’akov — “goes on his way” — starts to descend. This calls for a parallel kind of service on the part of the Jewish people — “Ya’akov” a Jew, a soul in a body — must “go on his way.”

The second stage of “Ya’akov went on his way” takes place Motzaei Simchas Torah. This rung makes a greater descent than the previous. After Yom Kippur, the Jewish people are still on a high level. They have just declared (at the close of the Yom Kippur prayers) “The L‑rd is Elokim” seven times, ‘Blessed is the name of His glorious Kingdom forever” three times, and “Shema Yisroel-Hear Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One” once. Commentaries have explained that these declarations epitomize the service of Mesirus Nefesh,1 total self-sacrifice, the ultimate level of service. Furthermore, immediately after that, the Jewish people are occupied with Mitzvos — “this one with his Lulav, this one with his Sukkah” — and they have no association with mundane matters and lowly matters. Only after Simchas Torah when all the festivals of Tishrei are over, does the service of “Ya’akov went on his way” start.2 Then we begin our involvement with physical elements in an effort to make them a dwelling place for G‑d.

However, the ultimate level of “Ya’akov went on his way” begins at the conclusion of the month of Tishrei and at the beginning of the month of Cheshvan (and more particularly after Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan). The day after Simchas Torah is called Isru Chag (Trans. note: meaning connected to the holiday), and during the remainder of Tishrei no Tachnun is recited (Tachnun signifies a normal weekday). Thus, during Tishrei we still have no connection with mundane matters. On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, too, a Jew stands above mundane affairs, because Rosh Chodesh is not a “day of work.” Only after Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan does the service of “Ya’akov went on his way” begin in its fullest sense. Then we become involved with work, with mundane activities in the physical world and through those activities make the world a dwelling place for G‑d. One of the reasons for this farbrengen is to arouse the Jewish people to the service of “Ya’akov went on his way” now, when Rosh Chodesh has already departed and the most complete aspect of that service is just beginning.

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2. An added lesson can be drawn from the fact that the 2nd of Cheshvan (the day on which the service of “Ya’akov went on his way” begins) falls on Tuesday — the day on which G‑d said that “it was good” twice. The Tzemach Tzedek commenting on the Gemara in Kiddushin (40a) explains that repeating “it was good” twice signifies a connection with a double good: “good to heaven” and “good to the creations.” The unique aspect of the third day is not merely that it contains both services with part of the day being devoted to “good to heaven” and part to “good to the creations,” but that the two kinds of service are combined. “Good to heaven” involves the highest aspect of the creations. Each moment on Tuesday brings both aspects together in one general movement to the point where no difference can be made between them. Therefore, every activity carried out on that day must also join both kinds of service.3

This concept is connected to the service of “Ya’akov went on his way.” Simchas Torah marks the conclusion of the festivals of the month of Tishrei. The Previous Rebbe explained that on Simchas Torah, “the Torah dances and sings.” Through their actions, the Jewish people bring this about. They become the Torah’s feet and mouth. Generally, the nature of the Torah is restricted by the confines of understanding (since Torah is described as G‑d’s wisdom). However, on Simchas Torah, Torah transcends those (and all) limits and expresses the level of pleasure which the Book of Proverbs (8:30) describes: “I will be an object of pleasure before Him.” At that point, Torah stands above all limitations. It is this level that brings about the dancing and celebration.

The same concept of rising above limitations applies to the Jewish people. On Simchas Torah, the “service of the day” is joy and dancing. That celebration involves and affects all Jews equally, from the heads and the leaders to the simple and the common people. How is this equality achieved? On Simchas Torah a Jew stands above all limitations. He reveals the source of his soul, a level above Torah,4 a level which all Jews possess equally.5

On Simchas Torah, a Jew stands alone at one with G‑d. No difference can be made between them. On that day each Jew expresses unlimited joy and happiness. This unlimited state raises him above the possible separation between “good the heaven” and “good to the creations.” He is not bound by any limitations. Therefore, he has the potential to view these two types of service as one process.

From that unlimited state a Jew must proceed “on his way,” taking the two services and combining them (not only on the level of unlimited joy as on Simchas Torah but also) in the midst of his day-to-day service in the physical world.

How can this be done? By having “our eyes directed downward and our hearts upward.” When our eyes are directed downward, we are connected with the lowest levels and we unite them with a type of service that is totally above limitations.6

This is the unique lesson taught by the fact that Tuesday is the first day of service of “Ya’akov went on his way.” Through this, that the service of the Jewish people is above all limitations and boundaries, comes the true redemption from all limitations and boundaries; till the true and complete redemption through Moshiach Tzidkeinu when there will be “an end to darkness” and “everlasting joy,” may it be in the near future.

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3. The concept of “Good to heaven and good to the creations” (mentioned above) is related to the portion of Chumash connected with today. That portion includes the verse, “And G‑d remembered Noach and all the beasts and animals that were with him in the ark.” The Midrash (Ch.33:1) states that this verse is connected with another: “Man and beast You deliver,” explaining that “The deliverance G‑d wrought was for all.” Here “Good to heaven” corresponds to “Noach, the righteous man,” and “Good to the creations” parallels all the beasts and animals.

G‑d’s remembrance of Noach was a preparatory step for entering into the covenant in which G‑d states, “There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” That covenant with Noach was followed by those with Avraham and Moshe. However, a difference exists between these three covenants. The covenant with Noach, was on the theme, “That the life force that is drawn down into the world should never cease.” This covenant affects only the external elements of the world.

The covenant with Avraham is connected with Torah and Mitzvos. Avraham carried out the Mitzvah of circumcision. That Mitzvah brought about the union of spirituality and physicality, making it possible for a physical thing itself to become holy. This involves drawing down G‑dliness into the world.

The covenant with Moshe (which came after the sin of the Golden Calf) is connected with Teshuva. Teshuva is above Torah and Mitzvos. Therefore, it can compensate for the deficiencies in our service of Torah and Mitzvos. Likewise, it is connected with the thirteen qualities of mercy that transcend the level of Torah and Mitzvos.

The above seems to require explanation. In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains the concept of covenant with a parable of “two close friends who make a covenant that their love will never cease. They establish such a strong and powerful connection, unifying and connecting in a wondrous bond of love beyond reason and knowledge, that it is as if they became one flesh. This is as it is written “they divided the calf and passed through the two halves”; i.e., “they both pass through one body to make themselves as one.”

Based on that premise, a question arises: how could a covenant be made with Noach? He lived in an era before Mattan Torah, when the decree, “the spiritual realm will not come down” was still in effect. Even the unity of spirituality and physicality that the Mitzvah of circumcision accomplished had not yet been revealed. Therefore, how could the covenant with G‑d be in a manner that “they establish such a strong and powerful bond unifying and connecting in a wondrous bond of love...making themselves as one”?!!

This question is reinforced by the fact that we recite the verse, “And G‑d remembered Noach” on Rosh Hashanah as one of the verses of Zichronos. The drawing down of the life-force from G‑d’s essence, in both the inner aspects and the external aspects of the world, depends on these verses. How can the covenant with Noach have that kind of power?

The fact that the covenant with Noach preceded Mattan Torah indicates that it relates to a level higher than Torah and Mitzvos. G‑d’s remembrance of Noach came because of “essential inner love...because of the essential level of the souls of Israel,” a level that is higher than Torah and Mitzvos. From that high peak, it comes down to the lowest level — the point where it effects a covenant for the existence of the external aspects of the world.7

Through this we can understand how the verse, “And G‑d remembered Noach” is connected with “good to heaven and good to the creations.” G‑d remembered Noach because of His essential inner love for the Jewish people. This love is rooted in a level that is beyond all the differences between man and animal. This level brings about G‑d’s deliverance of both “man and animal.” Because of this innermost attachment, G‑d descends so low as to “remember Noach” and also, “all the beasts and all the animals.” The “good to heaven” and “good to the creations” are regarded equally.8

The above is connected to Simchas Torah. On the verse “And G‑d remembered Noach,” the Midrash Aggadah comments that the remembrance took place at the conclusion of the month of Iyar (190 days after the beginning of the flood). Why? Because G‑d recalled that on this date in future the Jewish people would approach Mt Sinai to receive the Torah. Since some commentaries bring a supposition that Simchas Torah should take place on Shavuos and “A supposition in Torah is also Torah,” it follows that there is a connection between G‑d’s remembrance of Noach and Simchas Torah.

Deed is the most essential. May we intensify our study of Torah both Nigleh and Chassidus, with consistency and feelings of desire and joy. And may the joy break down all personal limitations and all boundaries and limitations of the world, making us the controllers of the world. as our Sages declared, “Whoever studies Torah laws each day...the ways of the world are his.” Through studying Torah law, the “ways of the world belong to us.” We become the controllers of the world, as our Sages said, “Who are our kings? Our Sages.”

Then the world will enjoy true peace because G‑d will give strength to his nation (and there is no strength outside of Torah) and G‑d will bless His nation with peace. Then, “I will bring peace to the land and shall lie down and no one will frighten you” because “I will be your G‑d and you will be My nation.”

This increase in the study of Torah — Mivtza Torah — should lead to an increase in all the other Mivtzoyim (which are connected with Torah): Mivtza Ahavas Yisroel — since “Ahavas Yisroel (love of one’s fellow Jew) is a great principle of the Torah”; Mivtza Chinuch — to teach them i.e. the Torah is a positive commandment of the Torah as we remind ourselves, “You shall teach them to your children” twice daily in Kerias Shema; Mivtza Tefillin, upon which our Sages (Kiddushin 35a) commented, “The whole Torah was compared to Tefillin”; Mivtza Mezuzah, which the Mitteler Rebbe described as equal to all the Mitzvos; Mivtza Tzedakah, which is “equal to all the Mitzvos” (B. Basra 9a) in the Torah and “hastens the redemption” (Ibid. 10a); Bayis Malay Seforim Yavne ViChachameha , since having holy books is connected with Torah; Mivtza Nairos Shabbos Kodesh, which is connected with the verse, “A Mitzvah is a candle and Torah is light”; Mivtza Kashrus, which is intrinsically connected with Torah, since bread is often used as a metaphor for Torah; and Mivtza Taharas HaMishpocha, which is involved with purification in a mikveh of water, and water is also a metaphor for Torah. Torah purifies and refines.

And may these activities bring to the fulfillment of the prophecy, “I will pour pure water upon you, and you will be purified” with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.

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4. As we leave the month of Tishrei and the days of Rosh Chodesh and return to “days of work” during which we are commanded to “serve G‑d with joy,” “carrying out all your deeds for the sake of Heaven” and “knowing G‑d in all your ways,” we take with us the promise and strength to “go out with joy and be led forth in peace. The mountains and the hills will burst forth into song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands.” So shall it be for us — a year of joy, revealed joy apparent on the material plane.