1. Erev Rosh Hashanah marks the birthday of the Tzemach Tzedek. In the Talmud Yerushalmi it is explained that on one’s birthday, one’s ‘Mazal’ is more powerfully revealed. Among the leaders of Chabad, the Tzemach Tzedek made a unique contribution.1 He brought about a unification between the study of Nigleh (the legal, exoteric realm of Torah study) and Pnimiyus HaTorah (the mystical insights taught by Kabbalah and Chassidus).

The other Rebbeim had also been masters in both realms of study. Even in the realm of Nigleh, various stories illustrate the greatness of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid. However, very few traces of that greatness is left to posterity. For the most part, we have only records of their teachings in Chassidus. The Alter Rebbe, though, left major contributions in both areas. In the field of Pnimiyus HaTorah, he grasped the essence of Chassidus and was able to bring it down and enclothe it in Chabad wisdom and understanding. His various texts, Tanya, Torah Or, and Likkutei Torah, as well as a number of other collected Ma’amarim that were recently printed, reveal his unique perspective. In the area of Nigleh, he also made important contributions, including the Shulchan Aruch and several Responsa.2

The Mitteler Rebbe also made contributions in both fields. He authored many Chassidic texts and also a number of works in which his greatness in the area of Nigleh can be seen. A comment of the Tzemach Tzedek emphasizes this point. He remarked that, “while my father-in-law [the Mitteler Rebbe] walks from one end of the House of Study to the other,3 he thinks over an entire tractate of the Talmud.

Despite the greatness of the Alter Rebbe and the Mitteler Rebbe, Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah, remained by them separate disciplines. It’s true that while learning the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch we should (and may it be G‑d’s will that we will) appreciate how the laws reflect concepts in Pnimiyus HaTorah. However, this awareness is not a necessity. Many students become experts in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch without it. In his ma’amarim, as well, the Alter Rebbe would often refer to verses from the Torah or quotations from the Sages of the Talmud, while his major purpose in bringing the statements was to emphasize a point of Chassidic thought. The same applies to the Mitteler Rebbe. One can learn his works in Chassidus without appreciating his knowledge of Nigleh and his works in Nigleh without being aware of his greatness in Chassidus. On the other hand, the Tzemach Tzedek4 was able to fuse both aspects of Torah study. Often in the midst of a ma’amar, he would bring out a Talmudic debate. Even when dealing with most abstract concepts he would develop his line of thought through the use of points in Nigleh.

A parallel to this principle can be seen among the Sages of the Talmud. Some Sages devoted their efforts only to the realm of Nigleh; others only to the realm of Pnimiyus HaTorah. Some Sages, — Rabbi Akiva, for example5 — applied their energies to both fields. Even those who did as Rabbi Akiva, though, did not connect these realms of study. They remained separate disciplines, unconnected with each other. Only Rav Shimon bar Yochai was able to break through the barriers separating Nigleh from Pnimiyus HaTorah. He was able to show that both branches could be combined into one entity.

A similar quality will be seen in the Torah of Moshiach. Therefore, the study of the Torah of Rashbi and also the “spreading of the Wellsprings of Chassidus into the outer-reaches” serves as a preparation for Moshiach’s coming.6

The Tzemach Tzedek’s birthday and the powerful revelation of his ‘Mazal’ must provide a practical lesson. In general, some individuals focus more of their energies in the study of Nigleh, others in Pnimiyus HaTorah. In Chabad, the Rebbeim always taught that both branches of study are important. The lesson we can derive from the Tzemach Tzedek is that the two cannot be regarded as separate paths of study. Rather, there is only one Torah: a Torah that has two different but united and interrelated aspects.

These points are meant to be a continuation to a concept mentioned in the previous farbrengens. That is we are now concluding the sixth year and approaching the beginning of the seventh year. These times are appropriate for making good resolutions. It is therefore proper to make a resolution to learn Pnimiyus HaTorah and Nigleh in the manner described above. Such a resolution would have a special connection with this year’s Rosh Hashanah which falls on Shabbos. On Shabbos, the main focus of study is Pnimiyus HaTorah. Also, Shabbos, the seventh day, is a reflection of the Messianic era, the seventh thousand year period of time. Then, in the Messianic era “the glory of G‑d will be revealed and all flesh will witness it together.” So shall it be for us. May we accept the resolutions mentioned in the previous farbrengens to increase our study this Shemitah year. May that increase be carried out in the manner described above — uniting Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah together. And may we merit the Messianic redemption when the Shofar will be blown on Rosh Hashanah in the Bais Hamikdosh (even when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos)7 speedily in our days.8

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2. The upcoming Shemitah year is called “a Shabbos unto G‑d.” As a preparation for that year (and its Rosh Hashanah, which falls on Shabbos), it is appropriate to mention the campaign to spread the lighting of Shabbos candles.9 This mission, the Mitzvah of illuminating the home through the lighting of the Shabbos candles, was entrusted to Jewish women and girls. The fact they were entrusted with this mission shows they have the power to carry it out. Even though they light candles on other nights of the week, the candles that they light before Shabbos have special power, the power of Torah.

It is proper to stress the Mivtzoyim, but since this year Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos, the Mivtza of Shabbos candles is especially appropriate. Furthermore, there is an intrinsic relationship between Rosh Hashanah and Shabbos. We light Shabbos candles to compensate for the sin committed by Chava (which brought death to Adam) on the first Rosh Hashanah. May every effort be made to reach out to Jewish women and girls and encourage them to light Shabbos candles and make the appropriate blessings. On Rosh Hashanah, the blessings include the brochaShehechiyanu” — a prayer recited with open and revealed good.10 May these efforts bring a year that is similarly blessed.

It is also appropriate at this time to mention the importance of insuring that all those who lack, will receive their holiday needs. These efforts bring us a Kesivah VaChasimah Tova, an inscription for a good and sweet year.

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3. It is appropriate at this time to mention the practice of writing a Pruzbol (note farbrengen of Chai Elul). The Alter Rebbe writes in Shulchan Aruch that it is proper to make a Pruzbol at the end of the sixth year before Rosh Hashanah of the seventh. Those who have not as yet done so, should do it at this time. Through our observance of the practices of Shemitah11 G‑d will follow suit. On the verse in the Book of Psalms “He tells His words to Ya’akov and His statutes and ordinances to Israel,” the Midrash comments that what G‑d commands to the Jewish people, He, Himself, fulfills. Therefore, during the Shemitah year, G‑d will release all the obligations owed to Him by the Jewish people. Furthermore, we have no fear that He will make a Pruzbol to allow Him to demand payment for debts owed to Him even afterwards. The Pruzbol was instituted by Hillel so that people would not refuse to give loans because of the upcoming Shemitah year. G‑d is by nature good and would never refuse to make loans (does not have a bad eye — a term used in the Talmud to describe someone who would hold back from giving a loan — ), so the entire concept of Pruzbol doesn’t apply to Him. In Shemitah, He releases all our debts. Even if someone would like to pay his obligation (through undergoing penances and self-affliction), G‑d releases the obligation without any payment.

The fulfillment of Shemitah is also connected with the Messianic redemption. On the verse in Vayikra (26:34) “Then the land will appease its Shabbosim” the Midrash Tehillim comments that through keeping the Shemitah the redemption will come. Then G‑d will “desire the land and return the captivity of Ya’akov.”