This week we learn, read and live the Torah portions Tazria - Metzorah. We say (and learn) the second chapter of Pirkei Avos.
This past Sunday was the 28th of Nissan, 26 years since the Rebbe spoke the famous Sichah, imploring upon all Chassidim to do every thing they can to bring Moshiach.
Today is Friday, 2 Iyar, birthday of the fourth Rebbe, the Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel.
Rabbi Shmuel was the seventh and youngest son of the Tzemach Tzedek.
One of his most famous teachings is: Lechatchila Ariber. The world says, if you can't go under (an obstacle etc), then go over it. I, says the Rebbe Maharash, instruct everyone - Lechatchila Ariber. To initially go over the top, not to get entangled with issues, problems, and challenges that cause you to stoop to get through them, but rather to take "the high road", and jump, skip and climb over that what stands in your way.
This directive and lesson how to serve Hashem is connected to the counting of the Omer, which began on the second day of Pesach.
Pesach means Dilug, to Pass Over, (as in Passover) and each day when we count the Omer, we continue the Pesach-Dilug incentive, by refining our character traits, in a manner of Lechatchila Ariber - over the top.
On 2 Iyar, the character trait that is refined is תפארת שבתפארת - Tiferes within Tiferes.
The Sefirah of Tiferes (beauty) is unlimited in nature. It reflects ? the attribute of Yaakov, our Patriarch, 'the middle bolt' - בריח התיכון, which extends from one end to the other", revealing a level of infinity on every level, from the lowest depths to the highest peaks. ( Sichos in English, vol. 44, pg 269).
Says the Rebbe: The approach of Lechatchila Ariber is also found in the teachings that precede and conclude the weekly Pirkei Avos.
The introductory teaching, ? All Israel have a portion in the World to Come...", reflects the essential nature of each Jew's soul, the point within the Jew that transcends Torah. Every Jew,
whoever he is, regardless of his level of observance, is "the branch of My planting, the work of My hands," created so that G-d can "take pride" in him.
Similarly, the Mishna which concludes each chapter of Pirkei Avos reveals how the Torah and Mitzvot were given " to make the people of Israel meritorious," because, " G-d desired, for the sake of his [Israel's] righteousness, to make the Torah great and glorious," i.e., because of G-d's essential desire for the Jewish people, He increased, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the Torah, i.e., it is the Jews who caused an increase in Torah. (Ibid. pg 273).
The above inspires us in our daily Divine Service, so that our behavior is commensurate with Lechatchila Ariber, both in our studying the prolific teachings of the Rebbe Maharash, and in spreading the teachings of Chassidus, that will hasten the coming of Moshiach.
Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus
THE MOSHIACH WATCH: Homiletically, Metzora refers to the exile since, while the Jews are in exile, they are forced to remain "alone, outside the camp," outside their Father's presence.
Tazria, giving birth, refers to the Redemption, when the Jews will emerge from the exile.
Then, just as a Metzora goes through a purification process, the Jews will be purified.
Indeed, their purification will be carried out by G-d, Himself, as it is written, " I will pour upon you pure water and you will be purified," and "You will be purified before Hashem." (Ibid. pg 274).