Shabbat Adar Sheini 20, Parshat Para 5703

Haftora: Va'y'hi dvar Hashem...dibarti v'assissi.

Say Av harachamim.

Torah lessons: Chumash: Tzav, Shevi'i with Rashi.
Tehillim: 97-103.
Tanya: In the light (p. 175)...explained (Ch. 23). (p. 179).

The Alter Rebbe related: Among the teachings my Rebbe (the Maggid) told me at yechidus, there was one on the verse, "A constant fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not be extinguished."1

The Maggid taught: Though fire descends from Above, spontaneously, it is a mitzva to bring from the 'ordinary,' by man.2 (Man's action is) an awakening from below which engenders an awakening Above. (For the nature of spirit is that) 'spirit elicits (another, responding) spirit and in turn calls forth another, yet higher spirit.' The spirit from below elicits the spirit from Above, calling forth spirit from higher and still higher.3

It is a positive mitzva to kindle fire on the altar. 'Altar' refers to the 'man who offers of you.'4 The offering itself is insufficient. Man must kindle a fire on the offering that is 'of you.' This fire, lo tichbeh (literally, 'it shall not be extinguished'), shall extinguish (tichbeh) the lo (the 'no,' the negative).

My Master told me this teaching ten times to engrave it in the ten powers of my soul. "You, my pupil," he said to me, "are in need of this constant fire, for yours is the duty of extinguishing the great lo (of the opponents of Chassidus). You shall extinguish the lo, and G‑d will transform the lo to hein ('yes'; assent, the positive).