19 Kislev – ”Yud Tes Kislev”

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Chassidim have celebrated the 19th of Kislev ever since the Alter Rebbe, author of Shulchan Aruch HaRav and Tanya, was released from imprisonment on that date in 5559 (1798).

More than a personal liberation, this event marks a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah. His great-great-grandson, the Rebbe Rashab, proclaimed it to be the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus.” The Rebbe Rayatz, in his turn, called it “Chag ha-Chagim” – “the festival of all festivals”. And the Rebbe gave it its forth name – the day of “Matan Torah – the giving of the Torah of chassidut”.

From the Rebbe’s explanations:

– Kislev is the third winter month. Thus it parallels Sivan, the third summer month, the month associated with the giving of the Torah. Similarly, the month of Kislev is associated with the giving of the Torah – more specifically, its inner aspect reflected in the teachings of Chassidus.

The sages often liken the giving of the Torah to a wedding – the union between G‑d and the Jewish people. More particularly, however, the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai is considered as merely the betrothal, the first stage of the marriage bond. The real union will be established only in the time of Geulah – the Era of the Redemption. Why so?

With Mashiach’s coming we’ll see the Torah in a totally different light. New mystic dimensions of the Torah will be revealed to us. With this knowledge, the total oneness will be established between G‑d and the Jewish people. And this the kind of unity that the Sages figuratively call “the wedding”.

(From the Rebbe’s talk on Shabbat Parshat Vayishlach, 16th Day of Kislev, 5752).

A Gut Yom Tov! May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year in the study of Chassidus and the paths of Chassidus!

(“HaYom-Yom”, 18 Kislev)

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