By the Grace of G‑d

Shabbos Parshas Devarim,(Tishah BeAv — postponed) 5731

איכה ישבה בדד העיר רבתי עם

“How does the city sit solitary, she that was [filled with] a multitude of people!”1

The Tzemach Tzedek — (“His name is Tzemach”)2 — interprets3 this verse with a positive connotation, explaining that [Jerusalem’s] sitting solitary reflects [an elevated spiritual state], as it is written:4 “G‑d led them alone,” and it is written:5 “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings].” This [exalted state] will come about as a result of being “filled with people,” as will be explained.

[This interpretation] is difficult to understand. The word איכה, “How,” is an expression of wonderment. According to the explanation that “sit[ting] solitary” alludes to the fact that the Jews will ascend to the level indicated by the verse “G‑d led them alone,” (i.e., a positive connotation of being [alone,] “outside the camp,”)6 [a rung,] above the spiritual cosmos, it is necessary to understand: Why does this statement bring about wonderment? [Aloneness of this type is a natural expression of the Jews’ inherent spiritual nature.]

It is also necessary to understand: How can this interpretation be reconciled with the simple meaning of the verse which reflects the awesome descent [experienced by the Jewish people]? For this reason, Eichah is read on Tishah BeAv, the anniversary of the destruction [of the Beis HaMikdash]. What then is the connection between the simple meaning of the verse and the interpretation of the Tzemach Tzedek that “sit[ing] solitary] can be understood in a positive sense?

[These questions] can be resolved by explaining the unique positive quality of the Tzemach Tzedek’s interpretation of “sit[ting] solitary] and its association with the verse “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings].” The reference to Yaakov’s blessings is precise. Our Sages [associate the Third Beis HaMikdash with Yaakov], stating:7 “[The site] will not be called ‘a mountain,’8 as referred to by Avraham, nor ‘a field,’9 as referred to by Yitzchak, but rather ‘a house’10 as referred to by Yaakov.” Thus the uniqueness of [dwelling] “securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings]” that will be realized in the Era of the Redemption and, in particular, in the Third Beis HaMikdash is identified with Yaakov’s description of the Beis HaMikdash as a house.

[This also relates to our Sages’ description of] the heritage of Yaakov as an “inheritance without any boundaries,”11 the ultimate of desire. As our Sages say:12 “Whoever delights in the Shabbos will be granted an inheritance without any boundaries... the heritage of Yaakov.”

This sublime level which will be realized in the Era of the Redemption will come about as a result of “sit[ting] solitary” in the time of exile. In this context, we find that our Sages compare13 the exile [of the Jewish people] to Adam’s being sentenced to exile [after the sin of the Tree of Knowledge].

{[The comparison can be extended.] Just as Adam was G‑d’s handiwork, so too, the Jewish people (who were sentenced to exile) are all “the branch of My planting, the work of My hands,”14 “an actual part of G‑d from above.”15 } Adam was sentenced to exile for the sake of the ascent which would come as a result. [This was reflected] in the spiritual heights reached at the giving of the Torah at which time mankind reached a higher level than experienced by Adam when G‑d “placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and protect it”16 (as will be explained).

Before the giving of the Torah, there were seven generations [who angered G‑d] that caused the Divine Presence to [withdraw and] ascend upward. And then there were seven generations afterwards that drew the Divine Presence downward, [making possible] the giving of the Torah.17 [Similarly in subsequent eras, there were successive sequences of ascent and descent.]

After the giving of the Torah, [the Jews were intended] to enter Eretz Yisrael18 and build the Beis HaMikdash. The Beis HaMikdash is described19 as “the place which G‑d chose,” and reflects a higher spiritual level than the Sanctuary of which it is said:20 “I sojourned in a tent.” But [this ascent did not come about directly. Instead,] there were several disruptions before the building of the Beis HaMikdash.

[And the spiritual peaks attained at the construction of] the Beis HaMikdash [were followed by a descent,] the destruction. This, in turn, was followed by an ascent, [the building of] the Second Beis HaMikdash which [in certain dimensions] surpassed the First Beis HaMikdash. For our Sages interpret21 the verse:22 “The glory of this later house will be greater than that of the first,” as referring to the Second Beis HaMikdash which surpassed the

By the Grace of G‑d

Shabbos Parshas Devarim,(Tishah BeAv — postponed) 5731

איכה ישבה בדד העיר רבתי עם

“How does the city sit solitary, she that was [filled with] a multitude of people!”23

The Tzemach Tzedek — (“His name is Tzemach”)24 — interprets25 this verse with a positive connotation, explaining that [Jerusalem’s] sitting solitary reflects [an elevated spiritual state], as it is written:26 “G‑d led them alone,” and it is written:27 “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings].” This [exalted state] will come about as a result of being “filled with people,” as will be explained.

[This interpretation] is difficult to understand. The word איכה, “How,” is an expression of wonderment. According to the explanation that “sit[ting] solitary” alludes to the fact that the Jews will ascend to the level indicated by the verse “G‑d led them alone,” (i.e., a positive connotation of being [alone,] “outside the camp,”)28 [a rung,] above the spiritual cosmos, it is necessary to understand: Why does this statement bring about wonderment? [Aloneness of this type is a natural expression of the Jews’ inherent spiritual nature.]

It is also necessary to understand: How can this interpretation be reconciled with the simple meaning of the verse which reflects the awesome descent [experienced by the Jewish people]? For this reason, Eichah is read on Tishah BeAv, the anniversary of the destruction [of the Beis HaMikdash]. What then is the connection between the simple meaning of the verse and the interpretation of the Tzemach Tzedek that “sit[ing] solitary] can be understood in a positive sense?

[These questions] can be resolved by explaining the unique positive quality of the Tzemach Tzedek’s interpretation of “sit[ting] solitary] and its association with the verse “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings].” The reference to Yaakov’s blessings is precise. Our Sages [associate the Third Beis HaMikdash with Yaakov], stating:29 “[The site] will not be called ‘a mountain,’30 as referred to by Avraham, nor ‘a field,’31 as referred to by Yitzchak, but rather ‘a house’32 as referred to by Yaakov.” Thus the uniqueness of [dwelling] “securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings]” that will be realized in the Era of the Redemption and, in particular, in the Third Beis HaMikdash is identified with Yaakov’s description of the Beis HaMikdash as a house.

[This also relates to our Sages’ description of] the heritage of Yaakov as an “inheritance without any boundaries,”33 the ultimate of desire. As our Sages say:34 “Whoever delights in the Shabbos will be granted an inheritance without any boundaries... the heritage of Yaakov.”

This sublime level which will be realized in the Era of the Redemption will come about as a result of “sit[ting] solitary” in the time of exile. In this context, we find that our Sages compare35 the exile [of the Jewish people] to Adam’s being sentenced to exile [after the sin of the Tree of Knowledge].

{[The comparison can be extended.] Just as Adam was G‑d’s handiwork, so too, the Jewish people (who were sentenced to exile) are all “the branch of My planting, the work of My hands,”36 “an actual part of G‑d from above.”37 } Adam was sentenced to exile for the sake of the ascent which would come as a result. [This was reflected] in the spiritual heights reached at the giving of the Torah at which time mankind reached a higher level than experienced by Adam when G‑d “placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and protect it”38 (as will be explained).

Before the giving of the Torah, there were seven generations [who angered G‑d] that caused the Divine Presence to [withdraw and] ascend upward. And then there were seven generations afterwards that drew the Divine Presence downward, [making possible] the giving of the Torah.39 [Similarly in subsequent eras, there were successive sequences of ascent and descent.]

After the giving of the Torah, [the Jews were intended] to enter Eretz Yisrael40 and build the Beis HaMikdash. The Beis HaMikdash is described41 as “the place which G‑d chose,” and reflects a higher spiritual level than the Sanctuary of which it is said:42 “I sojourned in a tent.” But [this ascent did not come about directly. Instead,] there were several disruptions before the building of the Beis HaMikdash.

[And the spiritual peaks attained at the construction of] the Beis HaMikdash [were followed by a descent,] the destruction. This, in turn, was followed by an ascent, [the building of] the Second Beis HaMikdash which [in certain dimensions] surpassed the First Beis HaMikdash. For our Sages interpret43 the verse:44 “The glory of this later house will be greater than that of the first,” as referring to the Second Beis HaMikdash which surpassed the First Beis HaMikdash in size and in the number of years which it stood.

Similarly, the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash is intended to enable us to reach an even higher level, the Third Beis HaMikdash, which will be built in the near future by Mashiach and which will represent a higher spiritual plateau than both the First and the Second Batei HaMikdash. This is reflected in the statement of our Sages quoted above: “[The site] will not be called ‘a mountain,’ as referred to by Avraham, nor ‘a field,’ as referred to by Yitzchak, but rather ‘a house’ as referred to by Yaakov.”

This is also reflected in the continuation of the verse: [“How does the city sit solitary,” in which Jerusalem is described as being] “like a widow.” [Our Sages explain45 that the wording is precise] “like a widow,” but not actually widowed, Heaven forbid, [for the connection to G‑d, the “husband,” though not apparent, continues to exist]. For the intent of the descent [of the city’s destruction] is for the ascent which will come afterwards. Therefore this is not considered a genuine descent, and Jerusalem is considered merely “like a widow.”

II

[To clarify the above:] As explained by the Rebbe Rashab,46 the ultimate intent of the creation is G‑d’s desire for a dwelling in the lower worlds.47

This intent is brought to fruition through the Divine service of the souls of the Jewish people, as alluded to in our Sages’ statement:48 “With whom did He consult (with regard to the entire creation)? With the souls of the righteous?”

The world was created in a perfect state.49 For the essence of the Shechinah, [the Divine Presence,] was in the lower worlds.50 The term “the essence of the Shechinah”refers to the light which is sovev kol almin, encompassing the worlds.51 For the term “Shechinah” itself refers to the light which is memale kol almin, [G‑d’s] immanent [light which] enclothes [itself within creation].52 Thus, the term “the essence of the Shechinah”refers to the light which is sovev kol almin, and, indeed, this light transcends the world entirely as explained in the series of maamarim entitled Basi LeGani, 5710.53

Although the light which is sovev kol almin was drawn down through the Divine service of Adam and [subsequently] the souls of the Jewish people as explained above, [it is correct to say that] at the very beginning, the world was created in a perfect state. The intent is (not that [at creation] the essence of the Shechinah had actually been drawn down [into the world], for that will be accomplished only through Divine service,54 but rather) the intent is that [the world] was appropriate and fit to receive the light of the essence of the Shechinah. But, [as explained above,] to actually draw down that light, Divine service is necessary.

This is the implication of the verse:55 “And He placed him in Gan Eden to till it and guard it,” that through Adam’s Divine service, additional light would be drawn down into Gan Eden. Gan Eden itself [receives] the light of memale kol almin (for as mentioned, [the intent of the statement that] the world was created in a perfect state is that it is an appropriate place to receive the light which is sovev kol almin). Within the light of memale kol almin itself, however, there are two differences between the light which is revealed in Gan Eden and the light which is revealed in the world at large:

a) The light which enclothes itself in the worlds emanates from the seven lower [Sefiros], while in Gan Eden, [the light of] the first three [Sefiros] shine.

b) In the worlds, [the created beings] have merely a knowledge of the existence [of G‑dliness], while in Gan Eden, there is a revelation of what G‑dliness is.

These distinctions, however, exist within the light of memale kol almin itself. G‑d’s placing Adam in Gan Eden “to till it and guard it” [is for a higher purpose]: to draw the light which is sovev kol almin, the essence of the Shechinah.

Nevertheless, even the “till[ing]” and “guard[ing]” performed by Adam in Gan Eden is not comparable to the Divine service [of the Jewish people] after the giving of the Torah. In this context, we can apply our Sages’ comment56 that the mitzvos performed by the Patriarchs were “ethereal.”57 Although this statement was made with regard to the Patriarchs, [it can also be applied to Adam, the first man,] for our Sages say58 that until the giving of the Torah, there was a decree separating the spiritual realms from the physical realms. Thus [this separation existed] also in the time of Adam.

[It is true that] Adam was commanded to observe at least six mitzvos,59 (and thus he had the advantage of “one who is commanded and observes”).60 Nevertheless, [the effect] in this world [brought about by observing] G‑d’s commandments before the giving of the Torah cannot be compared to that of the mitzvos after the giving of the Torah, as reflected by our Sages’ statement that [until the giving of the Torah], the spiritual realm did not descend into the material.

Even according to the explanation in the maamar cited above,4 that Adam’s Divine service surpassed that of the Patriarchs, for Adam was G‑d’s handiwork and was in the Garden of Eden,61 nonetheless, his Divine service could not be compared to the “flow[ing] oils for which you are renowned,”62 i.e., the essential Divine influence which is drawn down after the giving of the Torah.

And the Divine service which followed the giving of the Torah cannot be compared to the revelation [of G‑dliness] in the Beis HaMikdash (and, in particular, [the revelation resulting] from the [Divine service of] “working and protecting” performed in the Beis HaMikdash), “the place which G‑d chose,” which became a permanent dwelling for His presence.

And with regard to the Beis HaMikdash itself, it was in the Second Beis HaMikdash [rather than the First Beis HaMikdash] that the concept of G‑d’s dwelling was expressed in a greater manner. For although there were five spiritual qualities that were lacking in the Second Beis HaMikdash [when compared with the First Beis HaMikdash],63 the Second Beis HaMikdash surpassed the First in size (associated with space), and it lasted longer (time) — these being the characteristics which define our material existence. [Thus the greatness of G‑d’s indwelling is reflected within] the qualities of the world itself.

Nevertheless, the essence of G‑d’s indwelling within the world will be in the Era of the Redemption, through the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos inthat future era, for at that time, the mitzvos will be observed in a completely perfect manner, as alluded to in the expression,64there we will offer to You... in accordance with the command of Your will,” as explained at length by the Rebbe Maharash.65

III

The greatness and the loftiness [of the revelation of G‑dliness] in the Era of the Redemption can be understood by [appreciating] the greatness and the wondrous nature of the Divine service carried out in the preceding era of exile, [for it is this Divine service which] prepares for and introduces [this revelation].66

[The uniqueness of that Divine service is reflected by] the renowned teaching of the Alter Rebbe,67 quoting the Baal Shem Tov, interpreting the verse,68 “As I saw You in the Sanctuary,...” to mean, “Would that I had been able to see You in the Sanctuary [as I saw You in] ‘a parched and thirsty land,’ ” i.e., in exile. For there is a certain advantage to the manifestation of G‑dliness in the era of exile.]

[This concept is also reflected in] the interpretation69 of the verse,70 “And Moshe was more humble than all the men on the face of the earth,” [which explains that Moshe’s humility resulted from G‑d’s showing him the Divine service of the Jewish people in the subsequent generations]. When Moshe saw the Divine service of the generation of ikvesa diMeshicha, the age in which Mashiach’s approaching footsteps can be heard, where [G‑dliness] would be extensively veiled and concealed and yet [the Jews] would continue to study the Torah and observe its mitzvos in a manner of continually increasingly light, Moshe became humble and his self-concern was nullified.

Moshe is [identified with the attribute of] truth,71 as our Sages say,72 “He saw the attribute of truth.” Thus we can conclude [that his perception reflected] the truth: there is an advantage to our Divine service in the era of exile over Moshe’s Divine service.

This enables us to comprehend the uniqueness [of the revelations that will be manifest] in the Era of the Redemption. For these revelations will follow — and will come as a result of — this elevated Divine service.

On this basis, we can understand the reason for the length of the present exile. Since the present exile is a preparatory step for a very lofty revelation, one that surpasses the revelations to Adam in the Garden of Eden, and those of the giving of the Torah, the First Beis HaMikdash and the Second Beis HaMikdash, therefore the exile is so prolonged. For it is through the Divine service of the Jewish people in the era of exile that we will soon be granted the Third Beis HaMikdash, which is an even higher revelation, as indicated by the verse: “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings],” an “inheritance without any boundaries.”

IV

In order that the [positive conception of] בדד “aloneness,” [which reflects G‑d’s essence, the level at which He is alone, as it were,] be drawn down into our material world, and, moreover, that [there be, as the verse states,] ישבה בדד, that this [lofty] level be drawn down in hisyashvus, in a settled and stable manner, [the peaks of בדד] must permeate the order of the spiritual cosmos.

This [process] is alluded to in the phrase איכה ישבה בדד. ישבה בדד indicates that [the potential for] the level of בדד, [G‑d’s essence,] to be drawn down to this material world in a settled and stable (ישבה) manner comes about through [the spiritual sequence alluded to in the word] איכה.

[To explain:] The letter א refers to several levels, one higher than the other. For example, it is explained73 that in the word אחד, “one,” the א refers to [G‑d, who is] “L‑rd of the world,” and thus reflects a higher level than the ח which refers to the seven heavens and this physical earth,74 and the ד which refers to the four directions of this material world.75

In the word איכה, however, the א precedes the י,76 indicating that it refers to a level above the Ten Sefiros (indeed, above the Ten Sefiros that are ensconced77 [in the Or Ein Sof, G‑d’s infinite light]).78

[The א is followed by a י, indicating that [the essential level alluded to by] the א is drawn down into the Ten Sefiros of Atzilus which are alluded to by the י, and then to the level of Malchus, which is alluded to by the word כה. More specifically, כה refers to Malchus as it relates to — or as it actually descends and enclothes itself in — the worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah.79

As is well known, a distinction is made between [two terms used to introduce prophecies,] כה and זה.80 [For example, it is written:81 “This is (זה) the word that G‑d has commanded,” while it is also written:82 “So (כה) has G‑d spoken.”] זה refers to [a direct revelation, something to which one can] point and say, “This is [it].”83 Similarly, זאת (which is the same as זה, except that it is a feminine form)84 refers to the level of Malchus as it is in Atzilus, while כה refers to Malchus as it enclothes itself in the worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah,85 in which instance, it is described by the phrase,86 “in our image.”

On this basis, we can appreciate the intent of the phrase איכה ישבה בדד. בדד refers to the level of yachid, G‑d’s singular oneness, that transcends the oneness alluded to in the term echad.” For the אof the word איכה refers to the level alluded to in the verse,87 “There is one [alone], without a peer; indeed, He has neither son, nor brother,” i.e., the level of Atik, which is above all sense of division. Thus, among [the students of] Kabbalah,88 it is well known that within Atik, coupling ([and the production of] masculine and feminine waters) is an integral process.89 In the Era of the Redemption, [this level, which represents the positive dimension of] solitude will be drawn down into our material world in a revealed and settled manner.90

V

There is a well-known teaching of the Maggid [of Mezeritch],91 that the repetition of the letter dalet in the word בדד refers to the “poverty of the mashpia (“the source of influence”) and the poverty of the mekabel (“the recipient”).” The letter “dalet” is associated with poverty, as it is written:92 דלותי, “I have become poor.” A question, however, arises: How is the concept of poverty relevant to a mashpia? On the contrary, he is one who gives.

[The Maggid] resolves [this question based on] our Sages’ statement:93 “More than the calf wishes to nurse, the cow desires to give suck.” There is a yearning and a desire for the mashpia to give influence to the mekabel; this is the “poverty of the mashpia.” This can perhaps be related to the interpretations of the verse,94 “You have a desire for the work of Your hands.”

Just as the desire of the mashpia is to fulfill the lack experienced by the mekabel, so, too,the will (the poverty) of the mekabel should be to fulfill the lack felt by the mashpia, as it were. In this vein, the Maggid of Mezeritch interprets95 our Sages’ statement:96 “One should never stand to pray without an attitude of earnestness,”97 to mean that one’s prayer should be directed to the earnest need felt by G‑d, [as it were,] the Divine Presence which says: “I have a heavy head and a heavy arm.”98 This concept is also reflected in the Baal Shem Tov’s interpretation99 of the verse:100 “This I take to heart; therefore, I have hope.” “This,” he explains, refers to the Divine Presence.

VI

On this basis we can understand the verse: “How does the city sit solitary; she that was [filled with] a multitude of people...?!”

Eichah is a statement of amazement. It is an exclamation of wonder: How Israel could have [descended to] the level of “people”?! For עם (“people”), relates to the word עוממות, which means “ceased to flame,” as in the phrase,101 “coals which have ceased to flame.”102

{The verse continues: “She that was [filled with] a multitude of people has become like a widow.” Israel is described as being רבתי עם, “[filled with]} a multitude of people,” which points to, in a literal sense, a multitude of different levels [among the Jewish people].

Moreover, {our Sages103 interpret the phrase “[filled with] a multitude of people” as referring to} “a multitude of approaches within knowledge.” [More specifically, this refers to] daas elyon (“the sublime knowledge”) and daas tachton (“the lower knowledge”).104 These are alluded to by the use of the plural form of the word “knowledge”105 in the verse:106 “The L‑rd is a G‑d of knowledge.” [In this context,] there is a well-known teaching from the Alter Rebbe107 that [these two approaches] must be united and, moreover, that the higher [approach] and the lower [approach] must be fused together. This is implied by the verse, “G‑d is a G‑d of knowledge,” i.e., He fuses both approaches within knowledge together. Now, “She that was [filled with] a multitude of approaches within knowledge” — daas elyon (“the sublime knowledge”) and daas tachton, and these in a number of manifestations — “has become like a widow,” [which is interpreted by our Sages108 to mean,] “it is as if her husband has journeyed to a distant country,”109 [i.e., the dimension of G‑d which parallels] “her husband” is hidden.

[The verse continues: “great among the nations,” i.e., G‑d’s] greatness is enclothed in the 70 nations. “Leader among the countries,” [G‑d’s power of] sovereignty and strength is among the countries,110 and “has become a tributary.”

All of this, however, can be seen in a positive light. שרתי, [rendered as “leader,”] shares the same letters as תשרי, the month which is characterized by the building of the Sefirah of Malchus so that it can assume its position as “leader among the nations.”111 “Has become a tributary” refers to the bittul of kabbalas ol, the acceptance of G‑d’s yoke. For it is in a time where the Divine Presence is hidden, when His “great[ness]” is “among the nations,” and His “leader[ship]” is “among the countries,” [i.e., the powers of greatness and leadership are granted to other nations,] that the Jewish people “become a tributary,” manifest the bittul of kabbalas ol, i.e., they lose all consciousness of self.

As is known, the Divine service in the era of exile, and particularly, in the time of ikvesa diMeshicha when Mashiach’s approaching footsteps can be heard, does not focus on our intellectual faculties, or on our emotional faculties, but on our capacity to commit ourselves with kabbalas ol, (asexplained above with regard to Moshe’s humility).

Similarly, the positive conception of “sitting solitary,” revealing the level at which G‑d is alone, as it were, above the entire spiritual cosmos, the level of yachid, which transcends even the ten ensconced Sefiros, and having this manifest in a settled manner as implied by the word ישבה, is dependent on kabbalas ol. This concept was explained by the Mitteler Rebbe112 in his interpretation of the phrase113 “You are one, but not in a numerical sense,” [where it is stated that His essence] is above even the ten ensconced Sefiros.

On this basis, we can reconcile the two interpretations of the verse “How does she sit solitary!”: the simple meaning, [that it refers to the desolation of the city,] and the Tzemach Tzedek’s interpretation, that it refers to the revelation of the lofty level of G‑d’s solitary oneness. For the revelation of G‑d’s oneness which transcends the spiritual cosmos is dependent on the Divine service in the era of exile as explained above.

This then is the meaning of “How does she sit solitary!” It is an expression of wonderment and amazement. [For] it is truly amazing how from the level of “a multitude of peoples,” [interpreted above to refer to “coals which have ceased to flame” and a multitude of these,] that we will [draw down] G‑d’s solitary oneness which transcends the spiritual cosmos, [and do this] in a settled manner.

(Also, one may explain that the revelation — and the settling — of [G‑d’s] solitary oneness which transcends the spiritual cosmos go beyond all reason and logic.114 Therefore, the Divine service which draws down this singular oneness is the service of teshuvah.115 For teshuvah transcends man’s internal spiritual cosmos, [and taps the core of his soul].)

VII

The connection between the level of בדד, G‑d’s solitary oneness, the rung of yachid, to Yaakov (as it is written: “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings]”) [can be explained as follows]: בדד refers to the level of Atik which transcends both the right and the left vector, as implied by the statement:116 “There is no trace of the left vector in Atik.” Therefore, the revelation of this level comes about through Divine service stemming from the middle vector.

This is reflected in the verse:117 “Zion will be redeemed with judgment.” As the Tzemach Tzedek explains,118 judgment requires [the participation of] three [judges],119 alluding to Divine service as performed by all three vectors, Chessed (“kindness”), Gevurah (“might”), and Tiferes (“beauty”). This concept is also reflected in the interpretation120 of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, to the mishnah:121 “The world stands on three entities,” that Divine service in the three vectors of Torah study, avodah, and deeds of kindness enables the world to stand, for it fulfills the purpose of the creation of the world.

This also relates to the Third Beis HaMikdash, for it reflects the third vector, the “inheritance without any boundaries” associated with Yaakov. This Beis HaMikdash will fuse together [the positive dimensions of] the First Beis HaMikdash and the Second Beis HaMikdash,122 and will thus reach a level higher than that which existed in the Garden of Eden before the sin.123

This is reflected in [a comparison between] Adam and Mashiach. The name Adam (אדם) is an acronym for the names Adam, David, and Mashiach.124 Placing the letters in the order A’D’aM reflects an ordered progression. With regard to Mashiach, by contrast, it is written:125 “Behold My servant shall become wise; he will become uplifted and upraised to very high [peaks].” The verse uses the word “very” (מאד) which employs the same letters as the name Adam, except that this form reflects an unlimited dimension, a contrast to the [measured] approach suggested by the order Adam.

VIII

As mentioned above, we draw down the revelations of the Future era through our Divine service at present. From this, one can infer that our Divine service of the present age possesses an advantage over the revelations of the Future era. The Rebbe Maharash126 interprets the mishnah:127 “One hour of teshuvah and good deeds in this world surpasses the entire life of the World to Come” as follows: Since teshuvah and good deeds in this world are the factors which lead to “the life of the World to Come” (which includes also the revelations of the Era of the Redemption), there must be an advantage to the Divine service of the present era over the revelations of the Future, for a cause is more powerful than the effect which it brings about.

A similar concept applies with regard to the dimension of pleasure, the “inheritance without any boundaries” associated with Yaakov, the ultimate of desire (which reflects pleasure). In this regard as well, there is an advantage to the present age. As explained earlier [by the Rebbe Maharash] in that source,128 the pleasure to be experienced in the Era of the Redemption is (by and large129 ) the pleasure of created beings, while the pleasure which comes from teshuvah and good deeds in the present era is (by and large) the pleasure of the Creator. [As our Sages say:]130 “I derive pleasure from having spoken and having My will performed.”131

Thus through our deeds and service in the present era we bring about the building and the revelation of the Third Beis HaMikdash in the immediate future,132 and [the attainment of] the level [alluded to by the phrase]: “Securely and alone as in Yaakov[’s blessings].” [This structure] will fuse together the advantages of the First Beis HaMikdash and the Second Beis HaMikdash.

At that time, “G‑d [will] lead them (— i.e., each and every individual Jew —) alone.” Although he may be “found in a desolate and unsettled land,”133 (i.e., our Divine service in the era of exile,) he will emerge from that desolate place, led alone [by G‑d], in a manner described by the preceding verse:134 “As an eagle, He arouses His nest,” i.e., with mercy and compassion. For in the immediate future, the Redemption will come with kindness and mercy. And then G‑d’s intent [in creating the worlds], His desire for a dwelling in the lower realms, will be fulfilled.

First Beis HaMikdash in size and in the number of years which it stood.