“ Usifartem Lochem .... ” (Chutz L'Aretz)
[ Likkutei Torah p. 35] Parshas Emor discusses the Mitzvah of celebrating the festivals. It goes through each one of the festivals, with its unique commands and prohibitions. The festival of Shavuos is proximate to the Holiday of Pesach, falling on the fiftieth day, after 49 days of counting , after the second day of Pesach.
What relationship do Pesach and Shavuos share that they occur in such close proximity to each other, and why are they connected through the Mitzvah of Sefiras Haomer ? Each Holiday in the Jewish calendar represents not only a commemoration of past events and a time of Holiday to learn Torah and think of G - d, but also reflects on a specific service of G - d relevant to that Holiday.
On each Holiday, we are meant to work on a different aspect of our faith and Divine service. In this Mamar, the Alter Rebbe delves into the unique service of G - d that is exclusive to the Holidays of Pesach and Shavuos and the connection between them. The service of Pesach serves as a prelude for the service of Shavuos, while the service of Shavuos serves as a complement to the service that began during Pesach. This leads to an interesting discussion on the service of G - d required from the two souls contained within each Jew - the animal soul and the G - dly soul.
Contrary to the belief that existed prior to the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, the animal soul is also entitled and obligated to serve G - d. The Torah and Mitzvos were not given solely for the Jew’s G - dly soul to perform in face of the opposition of the Yei tzer Hara , but even more so for the sake of the Yeitzer Hara, so that it too would recognize the greatness of Hashem and dedicate its energy towards this service.
While the Holiday of Pesach serves as an electric bolt of energy for the G-dly soul’s fervor and passion in attaching to G-d, the Holiday of Shavuos injects this energy also into the animal soul so that it too would be able to serve G - d. The secret behind this ability of the animal soul’s G-dly inspirations lies in the Avoda of Sefiras Haomer , which preludes the Holiday of Shavuos. This Mamar instills new meaning and enthusiasm into these Mitzvos and assists to fulfill them with greater concentration and desire.
For the complete Maamar for Parshas Emor
For the Maamar for Parshas Behar (Eretz Yisroel)