The unity of the Talmudic dimension of Torah and Chassidus is not merely an intellectual pursuit; it's a spiritual necessity for the imminent coming of Moshiach. * On Hayom Yom for 12 Elul.
In a world that often feels fragmented, Torah wisdom offers a unified approach to life, blending spirituality with everyday practicality. This integration of two primary dimensions of the Torah—Nigla, the "revealed" parts focusing on Jewish law, and Chassidus, the mystical aspects—is not just a noble endeavor but a spiritual necessity for ushering in the era of Moshiach, the Jewish Messiah.
As we read in the Hayom Yom for 12 Elul, the Hemshech Ayin Beis—penned by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, known as the Rebbe Rashab—is a monumental work in Chassidic thought. It comprises 144 interconnected discourses that serve as a spiritual roadmap, seamlessly integrating Nigla and Chassidus to prepare us for the Messianic age.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, emphasized the role of Chassidus in vivifying the Torah's teachings. "Chassidus teaches us how to live Torah," he said. "It gives life to the Shulchan Aruch," or the Code of Jewish Law. This brings the idea of spiritual living down to earth, enabling us to observe the law while also engaging the soul.
The Hemshech Ayin Beis offers a structured and enlightening pathway to deepening our understanding of the complexity inherent in Jewish thought. As Rabbi Dovid Olidort, who participated in reprinting this work, mentioned in an interview with Derher.org, this series by the Rebbe Rashab serves as a "comprehensive treatment of key concepts of Chassidus, both intellectually (haskala) and in spiritual service (avodah)."
CORE THEMES OF AYIN BEIS
1. Seder Hishtalshelus (Order of Emanation): This concept describes the Divine flow of energy into the world. The Rebbe Rashab, in the first part of Hemshech Ayin Beis, gives a detailed "map" that elucidates how Divinity manifests in different spiritual realms.
2. Torah and Mitzvos (Law and Commandments): According to this work, observing Jewish laws and commandments serves as a conduit for drawing down Divine light into our world, aligning us with the vision of a Messianic era.
3. Beyond Seder Hishtalshelus: This part focuses on how, through observance and Torah study, we can connect with levels of Divinity that transcend the structured flow of emanation—essentially allowing us to touch the "essence" of God.
4. Ultimate Unity of God: The concluding chapters concentrate on reaching a unity with God that transcends even the boundaries between good and evil, light and darkness, in a manner that sets the stage for the coming of Moshiach.
Rabbi Olidort offered a poignant analogy: "When a rabbi imparts wisdom to a student, it’s a revelation understood by both. Yet when the rabbi connects with his young child, it’s not through knowledge but through a fundamental, innate connection." In this metaphor, the "innate connection" represents the transcendent unity we aim to achieve—a unity that will be fully realized in the Messianic era.
In the teachings of Judaism, the coming of Moshiach signifies a world transformed, one where Divine unity is revealed in its fullest expression. Hemshech Ayin Beis isn't just a text; it is a blueprint for achieving this unity in anticipation of the Messianic era. By consciously integrating Nigla, the revealed aspects of Jewish law, with Chassidus, the mystical dimensions of our faith, we actively participate in bringing that Divine unity into the world. This isn't simply a personal endeavor but a collective one that has cosmic implications.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, insisted that each act of spiritual unity, each moment where law and mysticism are harmonized, acts as a stepping stone to the Messianic age. Thus, the teachings of Hemshech Ayin Beis offer us not just intellectual enrichment and spiritual elevation, but a pathway to make the coming of Moshiach an attainable and imminent reality.