"TODAY'S DAY": Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tishrei 3, 5773 · 09/19/2012
"Today's Day"

Shabbat Tishrei 3, Shabbat Teshuva 5704
Kabalat Shabbat services begin Mizmor l'David (p. 131) not L'chu n'ran'na (p. 128). This applies to every Festival ending on Friday evening. Haftora: Shuva until yikashlu vam, then Mi Keil kamocha until mimei kedem.
Torah lessons: Chumash: Ha'azinu, Shevi'i with Rashi.
Tehillim: 18-22. Also 94-96.
Tanya: But the souls (p. 501) ...limitation and finitude. (p. 503).

The Tzemach Tzedek had yechidus with the Alter Rebbe on Monday of Teitzei, 6 Elul 5564 (1804); the Rebbe told him: "On Shabbat Tavo 5528 (1768), my Rebbe (the Maggid of Mezritch) said a "Torah" beginning V'shavta ad Havayeh Elokecha1 He explained that the avoda of teshuva must attain a level at which Havayeh, transcendent Divinity beyond worlds, becomes Elokecha - Elokim being numerically equivalent to hateva (nature), and as we find, "in the beginning Elokim created the heavens and the earth etc."2 All the Holy Society (disciples of the Maggid) were profoundly stirred by this teaching. The tzadik R. Meshulam Zusya of Anipoli said that he could not attain the heights of such a teshuva; he would therefore break down teshuva to its components, for each letter of the word teshuva is the initial of a verse:

T: Tamim - "Be sincere with the Eternal your G-d."3

Sh: Shiviti - "I have set G-d before me always."4

U: V'ahavta - "Love your fellow as yourself."5

V: B'chol - "In all your ways, know Him."6

H: Hatznei'a - "Walk discreetly with your G-d."7

When my father told me this, he concluded: "The word teshuva comprises five (Hebrew) letters, each letter a path and a method in the avoda of teshuva." (He explained each method at length).8 Each moves from a potential state to actuality through the avoda of davening.9

1. Devarim 4:30 and 30:2 "You shall return to G-d your G-d." V'shavta, "you shall return," is an expression of teshuva ("return" or "repentance"). Two different names of G-d are used in the Hebrew verse; "you shall return to Havayeh (who is) Elokecha - your G-d." "Havayeh" is the Chassidic colloquialism used to indicate that the Name actually appearing in the Hebrew verse is the Tetragrammaton, the ineffable, unpronounced Name-of-Four-Letters. "Elokecha" is a form of "Elokim." Havayeh is indicative of G-d's transcendence; Elokim of His immanence - "descending" (as-it-were) to create and vivify the world with His life-force. Teshuva, says the Maggid, must be to the point that the transcendent Havayeh becomes immanent and palpable.
2. Bereishit 1:1. Elokim is associated with creation, as above.
3. Devarim 18:13.
4. Tehillim 16:8.
5. Vayikra 19:18.
6. Mishlei 3:6.
7. Micha 6:8.
8. See aphorisms of next five days.
9. See "On the Teachings of Chassidus," Kehot, Ch. 29-30.

Compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe; Translated by Yitschak Meir Kagan    More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Compiled and arranged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 5703 (1943) from the talks and letters of the sixth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory.

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