It is customary to "open with blessing," the blessing of "And you shall rejoice in your festivals." This is particularly true when the celebrations are carried out in a manner of "Among the multitude of the people is the glory of the king." This especially applies when the gathering is being held in the synagogue, the house of study, and the house of good deeds of the Previous Rebbe.
In general, "a good hearted person is always celebrating." This happiness is particularly apparent on the holidays and especially on the holiday of Sukkos. How much more so does it apply in the present year, shnas niflaos bah.
The rejoicing of the holiday is enhanced by the influence of the ushpizen. The ushpizen of the previous days share a connection with the Torah; Moshe, gave the Torah to the Jewish people and Aharon is connected to the service of "Loving the created beings and drawing them close to the Torah." This too relates to halachah, for halachah is the dimension of Torah study in which there is no concept of differences of opinion. In other realms of study, there are differences of opinion and "these and these are the words of the living G-d," but in regard to halachah, there is one single approach.
In connection with halachah, our Sages noted the verse, "The paths of the world are his," and commented "Do not read halichos, 'paths,' but rather halachos." This teaches a Jew that he should know that every aspect of his conduct in the "paths of the world" should be controlled by halachah, "Torah law." This emphasizes how the Torah does not negate a person's involvement in worldly activity, but rather fuses the Torah together with such involvement.
Since such a fusion involves two entities, it leads to two different approaches in service. There are some individuals -- who are referred to with the name Yissachar -- whose service focuses on the Torah (and their involvement in the world is secondary). Others -- referred to with the name Zevulun -- focus their service on worldly things.
(Even those in the category of Zevulun establish fix times for Torah study and, at that time, the Torah is their primary concern. Conversely, as Chassidus has emphasized, even those on the level of Yissachar should have some worldly involvement. Indeed, as the Talmud relates in regard to Eliezar ben Chersom, this worldly involvement can bring a person to prestigious wealth and prosperity. Nevertheless, he will remain Yissachar, a person whose primary concern is Torah study.)
A person's worldly involvement has the potential to stimulate an increase in Torah as well. We see that in the present age, the new developments in the world at large have prompted new developments in Torah. The sages of the present era have been forced to deal with situations that did not exist before and, based on the general principles of our Torah tradition, establish laws which govern them.
For example, in the present age, it is possible for a Jew to travel to the moon. The question arises: When undertaking such a journey, when should the prayers for Sanctifying the Moon be said. There is no mention of -- or even allusion to -- such a question in the works of the Sages of the previous generations for such a circumstance was impossible and indeed inconceivable. Therefore, rather than consider such a matter, the sages dealt with subjects that were immediately relevant.
Similarly, in Zevulun's commercial journeys, he surely reached the Southern Hemisphere, and there the question arises: When should the request for rain be made in prayer, during the rainy season in the northern hemisphere or at those times when rain descends in the southern hemisphere?
In this manner, the involvement with worldly affairs brings about an increase in the realm of Torah study. Thus not only does worldly involvement provide Torah scholars with financial resources, it benefits them in the realm of Torah itself.
The above relates to the ushpiz of the present night, Yosef, for Yosef is connected with the concept of "increase" and with the Chassidic ushpiz, the Rebbe Maharash, whose service emphasizes that this increase must be made in a manner of LeChatchilah Ariber.
And through this service, we will merit the coming of the Ultimate Redemption when, "new [dimensions of the] Torah will emerge from Me." And at that time, G-d will gather us together in Eretz Yisrael where we will continue to proceed "from strength to strength" in a manner of LeChatchilah Ariber.
- (Back to text) Bah (δό) is the correct grammatical form. It is possible, however, to use the words bo and bom as used in the Shabbos prayers.
- (Back to text) As emphasized, this means not that the Torah should be lowered to the level of the people (and particularly those whose only redeeming quality is that they are G-d's creations), but that they should be elevated to the level of the Torah.
- (Back to text) For example, we find the differences of opinion between the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. Similarly, the Mishnah relates that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai had five students. This does not mean that he had only five students, for he was the leading Sage of Israel, but rather that these five students represented five different approaches to Torah study. Thus each of these five interpreted halachah in different ways.
- (Back to text) Halachah is also significant, for its study will lead to the redemption as explained within the context of the verse, "Zion will be redeemed by judgment."
- (Back to text) Halachah also has the meaning "walking" or "proceeding." Thus it relates to a Jew's potential to constantly increase and enhance his service.
- (Back to text) Indeed, several of these developments are wondrous in nature. Since a Jew is "veritably a part of G-d," he should not become excited about these wonders in and of themselves, for they are worldly and material matters and thus below his level. He should, however, become excited about the G-dly wonders he sees for they are expressions of His greatness.
- (Back to text) Our Sages explain that the Torah was given in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern Hemisphere. The intent was, however, that man bring the Torah from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere.
This same concept applies in regard to P'nimiyus HaTorah which was given in Lubavitch, which is located in the Northern Hemisphere. The very name Lubavitch alludes, however, to the spreading of these teachings, for Lubavitch means "city of love."
- (Back to text) In particular, this question is relevant in Australia, a continent which has developed many institutions of Torah study, both in the realm of Nigleh (the revealed dimension of Torah law) and P'nimiyus HaTorah (Torah's mystic dimension). In that continent, this question has been debated by the halachic authorities.
- (Back to text) In particular, the increase associated with Yosef follows the pattern described by Chassidus in connection with Rachel's prayer, "May G-d add on to me another son," i.e., that Yosef has the power to transform a person who is "another," estranged from his Jewish roots, into a "son."