SHALOSH SEUDAH TORAH
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH
The Last Generation will be Rectified through Emunah
Eretz Yisroel Belongs to the Jewish People
Rashiא explains that the Torah begins with the account of creation and not with the mitzvos in order to give the Jewish people claim over Eretz Yisrael.
If the Gentile nations will accuse the Jewish People “You robbers! You captured the land of seven nations!” The Jewish People can answer “The world belongs to Hashem! He created it – as is evident from the story of creation – and he can give it to whomever he decides.”
This Rashi explains why the Jewish people had a right to conquer Eretz Yisrael originally, because Hashem the master of the universe commanded them to. However, after the Babylonians and Romans conquered Eretz Yisrael, by what right can we still claim it? For a king, warfare is a legitimate method by which to acquire a country.ב
The Entire World was Created to Serve the Jewish People
Further on, Rashi explains the meaning of ‘Bereshis,’ that Hashem created the world for the sake of ‘Reishis’ – the primary. Who is most important? The Jewish People who are referred to as Reishis.
Ben Zoma once saw a large gathering of Jews on Temple Mount and said “Blessed is Hashem who created all of these [people] to serve me.”ג What did he mean?
The world and everything in it was created so that there should be Tzaddikim who serve Hashem. Just as the plant and animal kingdoms exist to serve the Tzaddik, mankind does too.1
The Jewish People as a whole are the Tzaddikim of the world; ד”םיקידצ םלכ ךמעו”, your people as a whole are Tzaddikim. Hashem created the entire world for our sake. Therefore, everything the gentile nations do is in our service.
First, Rashi explains why the Jewish people were originally allowed to conquer Eretz Yisrael. Then, he explains why Eretz Yisrael is their permanent heritage; because the nations can never claim that they conquered Eretz Yisrael for themselves, because everything they do is for the sake of the Jewish people. During exile, they merely served as temporary guardians.
The False ‘Reishis’ of Amalek
“הקלֵ מָ עֲ
There is another nation who is called Reishis. Bilam referred to Amalek as Reishis,
םִיוֹגּ תישׁארֵ “, the Reishis among the nations is Amalek. We could mistake Amalek as a
nation of Reishis for which Hashem also created the world. However, Bilam continued,
disproving this hypothesis, endurance.
“דבא ידֵ עֲ
וֹתירִ חאְַו”, its end is eternal destruction. Amalek has no
There is a philosophical axiom:
“תישארכ תירחא”, the end is like the beginning.
Something which has no ‘Acharis’, i.e. endurance, has no true ‘Reishis’, it never really began.
1 The entire creation is elevated and receives its sustenance in the merit of the Tzaddik. In addition, a Jew who submits himself to the Tzaddik attains spiritual rectification.
The ‘Reishis’ of Amalek is false. In fact, the entire existence of Amalek is an illusion; evil is a mirage.
The Jewish People, on the other hand, have a true ‘Acharis’, we will endure forever.
We always existed; exist and will exist forever.
Amalek hates the Jewish People because he knows that we have a true ‘Reishis’ and true ‘Acharis’. He cannot tolerate that his Reishis is fictitious as proven by the fact that he has no ‘Acharis’.
The Jewish People were under the protection of the Clouds of Glory during their sojourn in the wilderness. There were some Jews, however, who were expelled from the Clouds of Glory. These were the lowest elements of the Jewish People, members of the tribe of Dan, who had taken an idol with them out of Egypt.
When the trumpets heralded the imminent traveling of the Jewish People, they would dawdle and hang around until they found themselves trailing behind the Jewish encampment. The Clouds of Glory had moved on, leaving them behind.
It was these Jews who were vulnerable to Amalek’s attack. Moshe Rabbeinu commanded Yehoshua, his disciple, to fight Amalek saying, “Go out and fight Amalek”. The Jews who Yehoshua was to defend from Amalek were on the outside of the Clouds of Glory.
Every Jewish soul corresponds to a letter in the Torahו. The greatest Neshama, Moshe Rabbeinu corresponds to the first letter of the Torah, the ‘ב of תישארב. Moshe is the ‘תישאר’ of the Jewish People – he is their ‘שאר’, their leader.2
As the Torah continues, the letters correspond to smaller and smaller Neshamos. The lowest souls of the Jewish People correspond to the last words in the Torah “לארשי לכ יניעל”, before the eyes of the Jewish People.
The last eight verses in the Torah talk about the death of Moshe Rabbeinu. These verses seem to be ‘expelled’ from the rest of the Torah. There are sages who hold that Moshe Rabbeinu did not even write them, Yehoshua did. Others are of the opinion that although Moshe did write them, he did so with tears instead of inkז. Whatever the case, the Halachic (legal) status of these verses is more lenient then the rest of the Torah.
These verses correspond to the Jews who were expelled from the Clouds of Glory.
Rashi explains that the last three words of the Torah,
‘לארשי לכ יניעל”, refer to the
breaking of the Luchos (tablets). It is due to the breaking of the Luchos that Torah is forgotten. When Moshe Rabbeinu passed away, three thousand Halachos (laws) were forgottenח. The souls corresponding to these three words are expelled and forgotten.
2 The verse refers to him as ‘Reishis’, (אכ:גל םירבד) “וֹל תישׁארֵ ארְ ַיּוַ “, ‘He [the tribe of Gad] saw the ‘Reishis’ for himself
– they wanted to be together with Moshe Rabbeinu in the Trans-Jordanian territory.
Hashem created and maintains the world with ten spiritual powers. These are referred to as ‘Middos’ or ‘Sefiros’. The first Sefirah is Keser – a crown.3
Keser is the most sublime Sefirah. In the sphere of Keser only goodness is present; evil has no place there.
Mitzvos will improve and Aveiros (sins) will destroy in the realms of the other nine Middos. However, mitzvos and Aveiros have no effect in the spheres of Keser. Over there, our actions do not influence our relationship with Hashem.
There is a place in a parent’s heart where his child is loved no matter how irate his actions make the parent feel. Keser is where the Jewish people are cherished by Hashem unconditionally.4
The Rectification of the Lowest Jew is through Keser
Shabbos at Twilight, when we eat Shalosh Seudos is a time of ןוערד אוער, great divine favor. The Zohar many recite before Shalosh Seudos states:
“During the six days of the week, when the time to pray Mincha comes, harsh judgment rules, and severity is aroused. But on Shabbos, when the time for the Mincha prayer arrives, ןוערד אוער – favor of all favors descends, ‘Atika Kaddisha’ [the very essence of Keser,] reveals itself. All harshness is subdued and [Divine] favor and happiness is found everywhere. It is with this [Divine] favor [of Keser] that Moshe, the loyal holy prophet, passed away from this world so that we should understand that he did not depart with harsh judgment…”
The lowest Jews corresponds to the last eight verses in the Torah which tell about the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu when a spirit of Keser reigned.
The salvation of Jews who are sunk in the murkiest depth can only be achieved by the most powerful light. This is the radiance from the realms of Keser.
The lowest souls are rooted in the very place from where their rectification will come from – in the narrative of the passing of Moshe, when the sublime light of Keser shone.
The Connection of the Acharis to the Reishis
On Simchas Torah we connect the last verses in the Torah with the first. We finish
“לארשי לכ יניעל”, and begin right away with
“תישארב”. The Acharis – end of the
Torah, last Jewish souls – is connected to the Reishis – the beginning of the Torah, primary Jewish souls.
Our Acharis is connected to our Reishis. We are like a circle, as we reach the end we are at the beginning, i.e. we never end. The lowest souls border the loftiest ones.
Our Generation Corresponds to the Stragglers
Sefer Yetzirah teaches that the world was created in triplicate form, ןשע; םלוע – place,
הנש – time, שפנ – person. Everything we find in שפנ also exists in timeט.
3 Each Sefirah corresponds to a different organ of the body. Keser, the highest of them, is above the body, it is the crown on top of the head.
4 The thirteen attributes of mercy which we invoke by Selichos, are from Keser. This is explained in Sefer Tomer Devorah.
If there are Jews who are at the end, there is a time period which is the last. This is ‘Ikvise DiMeshicha’, the period which is so close to the coming of Mashiach, that we can already hear his footsteps. This is the era that we are currently living in.
Our generation is very distant from Hashem, we feel ourselves ejected from the holy confines of G-dliness. During Ikvise DiMeshicha, souls from the Tribe of Dan, whom Amalek attacked because they were ejected from the Clouds of Glory, are born. We correspond to the last eight verses in the Torah; the last souls are born in the end of time.
It was not Moshe Rabbeinu who wrote the verses in the Torah which correspond to our souls, it was Yehoshua. The one who fought Amalek wrote the letters which correspond to the souls he besieges.
It is in reference to our generation that the Torah states,
הצֵ קְ בִּ
דַּ ִנ הֶיהְ
י םאִ ”
קָּ ִי םשָּׁ
קַ ְי, ‘If you will be banished at the ends of the heavens, from there
Hashem, your G-d, will gather you and from there he will take you’.
The last three words of the Torah are connected to the first three words of the Torah.
This ensures the eventual return of even the most far flung Jew.
ארב תישארב – לארשי לכ יניעל”
5″םיקלא, is gematria “ךחקי םשמו ךקולא ‘ה ךצבקי םשמ םימשה הצקב ךחדנ היהי םא”, (they both equal 1963). The lowest souls will return due to their connection with the greatest ones.
The Story of the Ramban and Avnerאי
The Ramban had a student, Avner, who left the path of Judaism and became a nobleman. He once summoned the Ramban on Yom Kippur and ate an impure animal in front of him. “How many sins did I just commit?” he brazenly challenged his former rebbe. The Ramban told him a number, but Avner had the audacity to argue, “No, It was more than that!”
The Ramban gazed sharply at Avner. A tremor of regret filled Avner. He told his rebbe, “Do you know why I left Judaism? It was because you taught us that every single Jew is alluded to in the Parsha of Haazinu. This seems ludicrous to me! How can such a small Parsha contain so much in it? If you tell me where I am alluded to in the Parsha of Haazinu, then I will repent.”
The Ramban went to a corner and prayed. He then returned telling his former student,
“You are alluded to in the verse, “ביםרָ כְ זִ
רְ מאָ”, I [Hashem] had said, ‘I
will scatter them, I will cause their memory to cease from man.’ The third letters of םהיא ֵ
“םרָ כְ זִ
התיבּשאַ, spell רנבא.
When Avner heard this, he repented and decided to fulfill the verse. He set sail at sea and no one knows what happened to him.
An Explanation of the Story
Roshei Teivos, first letters of consecutive words, or Sofei Teivos, last letters are frequently expounded upon. This is because the beginning contains the seed for all future development, and the end sums up everything. Middle letters have no significance, so it is peculiar that Avner was alluded to in this way.
5 A minimum of three words are necessary in order for the holiness of a Sefer Torah to take effect. (Mekor? How is it הכלהל עגונ?)
If Avner would have been alluded to in the first or last letters, which encompass the entire word, it would have meant that his soul is truly lost. However, he is hinted to in the middle of the word. The intermediate letters are transitional. Avner is lost to the Jewish People only fleetingly. At his roots, his Reishis, he is connected to Hashem, so for sure his Acharis will be good, at the very end he will be returned to Hashem. It is only in between that he may temporarily be lost.
Avner is not like Amalek who has no true Reishis and will have an Acharis of complete destruction.
Amalek Attacks Our Generation
Amalek attacks our generation just as he attacked those straggling souls who were expelled from the Clouds of Glory in the wilderness. Amalek hates the Acharis because they highlight his lack of Acharis and thus the falsehood of his Reishis.
As the history of the Jewish People reaches its conclusion and our everlasting endurance begins to become clear, the fury and jealousy of Amalek is awakened and he wages war.
The weapons of Amalek are doubts of Emunah, faith in Hashem. קלמע is gematria קפס (they both equal 240). When the Jewish People questioned the providence of Hashem in the desert saying, “גיןיע םא ונברקב ‘ה שיה”, is Hashem with us or not, קלמע אביו, Amalek’s vicious attack followed immediately.
The spiritual power of Amalek is none other than the Satan himself. The original form of the Satan was the snake that seduced Chavah to eat from the forbidden fruit. Chavah
excused herself from sinning saying,
“דיינאישה שחנה”, the snake deceived me! The word
ינאישה has the letters of the words ‘ןיא שיה’, is he, [Hashem, here] or is he not? The Satan, through Amalek, deceives us with doubts in Emunah.
In our times, it is very common for Jews to struggle with heretical thoughts.
The last prophet, Chabakuk, spoke to the last generation and instructed us to
concentrate intensely on the Mitzvah of Emunahוט: “‘זטהֶיחְ ִי וֹתָנוּמאֱ
lives through his Faith.6
קידִּ צַ ְו”, A righteous person
Rosh Hashanah is the day for accepting upon ourselves Emunah in Hashem. In the Malchius section of the Musaf prayer we reinforce our Emunah in the His sovereignty.
There are ten verses in Malchius which discus the Kingship of Hashem. The last of these verses, Shema Yisroel, corresponds to the last generation. In the verse of Shema, unlike the other nine verses, the word ‘Melech’, King, does not appear. In the spiritual murkiness of our times, we do not see Hashem, the King. Yet, we declare his oneness.
“םדיפרב לארשי םע םחליו קלמע אביו” is gematria “דחא ‘ה וניקלא ‘ה לארשי עמש”, (they both equal 13407.) We will defeat the spiritual powers of Amalek through loyal faith in Hashem, even when he we do not see him.
6 We derive the ability to maintain our emunah during Ikvise D’Meshicha comes from being connected to the great souls of Bereshis. “תחא לע ןדימעהו קוקבח אב” is gematria תישארב, (they both equal 913).
(ח”ע קרפ םילהת) “ודלוי םינב ןורחא רוד ועדי ןעמל”, so that the last generation may know, sons that are born, is also gematria תישארב (913). The last generation will know Hashem because they are connected to תישארב.
Emunah Means Loyalty
The Rebbe of Kotzk explained that Emunah means to remain loyal to Hashem, to even though it is difficult.8 The Rebbe of Rizhin pre-warned that during the period of Ikvise DiMeshicha, retaining Emunah will be as difficult as scaling smooth walls.
During Eliyahu Hanavi’s time, many Jews were ensnared by the lure of the idol ‘Baal’. Eliyahu Hanavi had two altars erected, one for Hashem and one for the Baal in order to see on which altar the fire would descend, i.e. which ‘G-d’ was the real one. When the fire descended on the altar of Hashem despite the many odds (Eliyahu had drenched the entire area with water), the Jews’ Emunah in Hashem was greatly strengthened.זי
Tzaddikim have foretold that in the times right before the coming of Mashiach, a similar scene will be reenacted. Only this time, the fire will descend on the side of the ‘Baal’, the representatives of evil will seem to have won.
The test will be excruciatingly difficult. We will see the success of the wicked and will nevertheless remain loyal to Hashem.
A Deluge of Heresy
The world stage of Ikvise DiMeshicha is laden with props that undermine the Emunah. Reb Nachman of Breslav predicted that during this time there will be a ‘Mabul’ (Deluge) of heresy.
What Tzaddikim envisaged, we see with our own eyes. The period of Ikvise DiMeshicha began in earnest with the conclusion of the Second Word War. After the war there were many people who could not retain Emunah in Hashem after the horrors they had undergone.
Since then, there has been a relentless effort at undermining all basic concepts of religion that society had always adhered to.
Recently, a flood of digital technology has been invented, most of which is being put to use promoting the agenda of Amalek. These devices uproot Emunah either directly, through heretical ideas, or, a more frequent and hideous phenomenon, by devastating the soul at its root with the most repugnant immorality produced by the most depraved of minds.
Many have already fallen into the clutches of addiction to these devices. The only way by which to avoid entrapment is to adhere to the guidance of our leaders, the Gedolei Yisroel, who set forth guidelines by which these technologies are to be used.
Evading the Birth Pangs of Mashiach
Prophet Danielחי predicted: [Before the coming of Mashiach] will be a time of calamity, the likes of which has never been since [the Jewish people] became a nation. In this time your nation will escape, all those that are found written in the book.
Which book is Daniel referring to? He is referring to the book mentioned by Prophet Malachi, his contemporary: טי
7 This is according to the Chasam Sofer who taught that an יתבר תוא, a large letter, is the size of four letters, and its numerical value is quadrupled. The ע of עמש and the ד of דחא are יתבר תויתוא.
8 הנומא comes from the word ןמאנ which means faithful.
You have said, ‘It is futile to serve G-d, what do we get out of guarding his Torah? We walk dejectedly before Hashem! … The wicked have tested G-d and have gotten away with it!’ …[In a time when people will be talking like this] then, those that fear Hashem will gather together [to strengthen each other] and Hashem will hearken and listen and He will write a book of remembrance for those that fear Hashem and value His name.
Jews who gather together to strengthen themselves in Emunah, faith in Hashem, during our difficult times will be recorded in a book of remembrance by Hashem. They, Daniel prophesized, will avoid the misfortunes which will herald the arrival of Mashiach.
The Arizalכ teaches that all who partake of the Friday night meal will be rescued from the misfortunes which will occur before the arrival of Mashiach.9 The Rebbe of Rizhin advised that Jews gather on Friday nights, after the meal, to talk about tzaddikim as a means of strengthening Emunah. He said, “You should talk about the Baal Shem Tov, about the Maggid of Mezritch, myself, or even only about my table and chairs.” Discussing tzaddikim will strengthen our Emunah, and thereby we will escape the catastrophes preceding Mashiach’s arrival.
Before Mashiach will come, the war of Gog and Magog, the apocalyptic world battle, will take place. It is unclear whether this will include actual physical warfare. What is certain is that it will be a spiritual conflict between good and evil. During the war of Gog and Magog, all the forces of evil will unite to combat Emunah. King David describes this war in Tehilimאכ: The nations creating a tumult … the Kings of the land position themselves … against Hashem and Mashiach.
The Arizal also taught that Shalosh Seudos has the power to rescue from the bombardments of Gog and Magog. The Baal Shem Tov instituted that Shalosh Seudos, the meal which protects against the ravages of Gog and Magog, should be eaten in Shul (synagogue), together with other Jews. The Baal Shem Tov wanted that Jews should sit together and strengthen each other in Emunah. Thereby they would emerge unscathed from the clutches of Gog and Magog, the evil powers which rip us away from faith in Hashem.
ידוהי םושל לושכמו רעצ םוש ילב המילש הלואג לאגנו ‘וכו שדח רוא תוארל דחי ונלוכ הכזנו םילשורי לעו י”כעו ונילע ומולש תכוס שורפי ת”ישהו
May we all, together, merit seeing the new light Hashem will shine on Tzion, and may we be redeemed with a complete redemption, without any pain and stumbling to any Jew. And may Hashem spread his Sukkah of peace upon us, and upon every Jew
and upon Yerushalayim.
א םש י”שר
ג א:חנ תוכרב ד אכ:ס היעשי ה כ:דכ רבדמב
ו ט”ער ב”ח ךיתע תנומא ןייע
ז א”ע ‘ל ףד תוחנמ
ח א”ע זט הרומת
ט See ג”מ ‘ד קרפ תובא
י ד:ל םירבד
9 The Friday night meal is referred to as “9ןישידק ןיחופת לקח”, and is gematria “9קלמע ךל השע רשא”, ‘what Amalek did to you’. By partaking of the Friday night meal we will strengthen ourselves in Emunah, which Amalek attempts to destroy.
אי ג”כפ רשיה בקו ד”כפ ףסוי דוסיב אבומ
בי וכ:בל םירבד
גי ז:זי תומש
די גי:ג תישארב וט א”ע דכ תוכמ זט ד:ב קוקבח
זי ח”י קרפ א םיכלמ
חי א:בי לאינד
טי ‘ג קרפ יכאלמ
כ א”ע ח”יק תבש ‘ג לע
אכ ‘ב קרפ