Sunday, August 24, 2008

The highest level of holiness

The Torah is the place of the Divine Presence in the age of exile, akin to the Beis HaMikdash. When a Rebbe says Chassidus there is a manifestation of the highest level of holiness, corresponding to that revealed in the Holy of Holies in the Beis HaMikdash.

The Previous Rebbe related:

Once there was a wedding in Rodni and Reb Avrohom (the rabbi of Rodni), a Chossid of the Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, traveled with my father (the Rebbe Rashab) to the wedding by wagon. My father took me as well. Since Reb Avrohom was one of the elderly Chassidim, and my father was young, Reb Avrohom saw fit to offer advice to my father and guide him in his role as Rebbe.

At the beginning of my father’s leadership he delivered a Chassidic discourse based on the verse, “Today is the birth of the world,”[1] and he interpreted in Yiddish, “Haint tzitert di gantze velt” (“today the entire world is trembling”).[2] Reb Avrohom spoke with him about such things, and offered guidance in how to act.

My father told him: When the Beis HaMikdash stood, there were ten levels of holiness,[3] as is known, and the Holy of Holies was the most holy place. The High Priest would only go there on Yom Kippur. However, concerning the age since the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, our Sages of blessed memory have stated that “G–d only has the four cubits of Jewish law.”[4] In “the four cubits of Jewish law” there are also ten levels of holiness, and when a Rebbe says Chassidus, this is like the High Priest in the Holy of Holies. Thus, there is no question here.

Shemu’os V’Sipurim, Vol. 1, pp. 202-203.

[1] From the Rosh Hashanah liturgy.

[2] In the Hebrew, “היום הרת עולם, היינט ציטערט די גאנצער וועלט.” The word הרת is being interpreted as related to the word רתת, trembling. See Sefer HaMa’amarim 5702, p. 10.

[3] Mishneh TorahHilchos Beis HaBechirah, 7:13-22.

[4] Berachos 8a. 


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