Lots of Luck

Free translation and adaptation of a discourse by
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Purim 5713 [1953]

by Rabbi David Rothschild


Part 1

OUTLINE of part 2:

II. Mute Monarch
Almighty Ahasuerus
Silent Sheep
Divinity Display


Part 2 (of 3)

[In the text an attempt was made to abridge and elucidate their content. To provide background information for difficult terms and concepts, additional material from other Chassidic discourses, appears in brackets. The remaining content is a free translation.]

II. Mute Monarch

Almighty Ahasuerus

King Ahasuerus's name also indicates transcendence beyond the limits of reason and understanding. The Midrash reveals that "Ahasuerus," the letters rearranged spells: "The end and the beginning are His."23 Ahasuerus actually refers to G-d who is elevated above the locations of beginning and end; beyond creation's system of Worlds.

Ahasuerus is also a construct of two Hebrew words: hash-rash. 24 "Hash" translates as silence. Silence refers to the sefirah of Crown, which is above Wisdom. As Job said, "Wait for me a bit, and then I will tell you." 25

[Job uses the Aramaic word for waiting - keter. A respectful state of quietude is a precondition for eliciting a superior's discourse. 26]

Rabbi Akiva also enunciated this principle: "A fence for wisdom is silence." 27 Silence precedes and is elevated above Wisdom just as the attribute of Crown is above the Worlds.

Silent Sheep

An opposite connotation of silence, though, is espoused by Isaiah, "Like sheep being led to slaughter or a lamb silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth." 28

[Isaiah employed the Hebrew word for muteness, "alem." Alem is built from the two-letter root, "lm." These letters also serve as the root for the Hebrew word to conceal, "he'elem."]

In this context, silence denotes the deed of Kelipat Nogah. Kelipot are shells that conceal Divinity. That is, they cover over and hide the Divine Speech of the World of Speech.
[Nogah, meaning "shining" indicates that this level of klipah is not solely evil, but contains a potential for good.]

[The World of Speech refers to the sefirah of Kingship (Malchut) of the World of Emanation (Atzilut). 29 Every sefirah contains an aspect of the other nine sefirahs. And the vessels of each of these sub-sefirahs have an inner, intermediate and external dimension.

Kingship's Thirty Vessels descend below to become the soul of the ten sefirahs of the Worlds of Creation, Formation and Action. There, they bring into being, from a state of void to actual existence, the thirty vessels of the Three Lower Worlds. Divine Speech is the limited, Inner Light that continuously recreates and sustains the worlds.

Human speech functions in a similar manner. Words are directed outside of one's self toward a recipient who is an independent entity.

G-d exhorted Moses, "Who has made man's mouth or who has made man mute?" 30 When Supernal Speech is not revealed, the world functions according to the laws of nature. In such circumstances, G-d is referred to as speechless. Dumbness also resembles sleep as King David beseeched, "Awake, why sleep my L-rd?" 31 Since during sleep one doesn't talk.

Evildoers and accusers against Israel covet the world's operation according to nature [without Divine intervention]. The righteous, though, seek the revelation of Divine Speech. Isaiah prophesized about the Messianic Era, "And the glory of G-d will be revealed, and all flesh, together, will mutually see it, when the mouth of G-d has spoken." 31]


However, as discussed earlier, there is an aspect of silence that is above speech: the inability to speak. The Talmud advises, "If you wish to purchase speech with one selah, spend two selahs to buy silence." 33 Again, referring to the sefirah of Crown that is above the system of Worlds.

[Creation was first manifest by the emanation of the ten attributes or sefirahs; the first being Wisdom. Genesis' first word "In the Beginning"34 hints to Wisdom, also called "the beginning." 35 As King Solomon says, "The beginning of His way." 36 Rabbi Yehudi observes in the Zohar, "What is the significance of 'In the Beginning': In Wisdom." 37

Wisdom is likened to a flash of lightning that appears unexpectedly out of darkness. "Wisdom is found out of nothingness." 38 Nothingness refers to the attribute of Crown, called by this term because it is hidden from our perception. Like darkness, Crown alludes to the intangible and unknown. Just as a discovery appears "out of the blue," so Wisdom emerges out of nothingness.

Kabbala terms the creation process, "the [downward progression] chaining of the Worlds." Following the initial revelation of Wisdom in the World of Emanation, light and life-force are passed from one attribute to the next. This cause and effect carries on downward through the four worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action. At each step along the way light is further reduced in quality and quality. Then at the final stage, G-d Himself intervenes directly to convert spirituality into this physical world.

The system of Worlds involves the limited "Filling Light," in contrast to the revealed infinity of the Encompassing Light, which is manifest before and above creation.]

Divinity Display

This, then, is the significance of Ahasuerus: hash-silence, which is elevated above the system of Worlds. And due to the transcendent aspect of Ahasuerus, the King "displayed the glory of his splendorous grandeur to the entire population." 39

If the revelation was merely according to the system of creation, then the exhibition of Ahasuerus's grandeur would have been restricted to his ministers of state and servants, who were a regular presence in his inner chambers.

But since the revelation was from Ahasuerus - Divinity above creation - it was revealed to everyone. To those appropriate in their homes, the light shone in their homes; to those befitting in their gardens, in their gardens; and to those suitable in their courtyards, in their courtyards. 40

[Homes, gardens and courtyards symbolize sefirahs in the Worlds of Creation, Formation and Action.]

23. Magen Avraham I, page 182:a; Likutei Torah, page 28:2
24. Torah Ohr, page 118:a
25. Job 36:2
26. Rashi on the verse
27. Mishnah, Tractate The Ethics of our Fathers, chapter 3, law 13
28. Isaiah 53:7
29. Introduction to Tikunei Zohar
30. Exodus 4:11
31. Psalms 44:24
32. Isaiah 40:5
33. The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Megilla, page 18:a
34. Genesis 1:1
35. Rashi on the verse
36. Proverbs 8:22
37. Introduction to the Zohar, page 3:b
38. Job 28:12
39. Paraphrase of Esther 1:4
40. Paraphrase of Esther 1:5


[on to Part 3]


[Rabbi David Rothschild, a resident of Tsfat, is the founder and editor of Nefesh Magazine.]


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