Y’hi Hashem Elokeinu Imonu: Part Four; Understanding the Language, Shedding Light on a Deeper Reality

Y’hi Hashem Elokeinu Imonu: Part Four; Understanding the Language, Shedding Light on a Deeper Reality

Part Four: Understanding the Language, Shedding Light on a Deeper Reality

Translation and Integrated Translation of the Ma’amer

ד) דְּהִנֵה לָשׁוֹן ״עִם״ שַׁיָיךְ כְּשְׁיֵשׁ דִמְיוֹן בֵּין שְׁנֵי הַדְבָרִים. כְּדְרָשַׁת רַבֹּתֵנוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה, עֲל הַפָּסוּק וְהִתְיַצְּבוּ שָׁם עִמָּךְ, עִמָּךְ בְּדוֹמִין לָךְ

The use of the word “with” is relevant only when there is a relationship between the different elements at play. For example, on the verse where G-d tells Moshe Rabeinu (BeHa’alos’cho, 11:16), “…And have them [the seventy elders] stand there with you.” About this, our Rabbis taught, “ ‘with’ you, [because they are] ‘similar’ to you.” (Kiddushin 76b, Sanhedrin 32b, Horoyos 4b).

דְהַגַּם שֶׁלָשׁוֹן ״עִם״ מוֹרֶה עֲל דָבָר טָפֵל (כְּנִזְכָּר לְעֵיל סְעִיף כ׳), מְכָּל מָקָוֹם, יֵשׁ לוֹ דִמְיוֹן לְהָעִיקָר. וְעֲל דֶרֶךְ זֶה הוּא בְּלְשׁוֹן ״אֶת,״ שֶׁמוֹרֶה עֲל דָבָר טָפֵל כְּדְרָשַׁת רַבֹּתֵנוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה עֲל הַפָּסוּק אֶת בְּשָׂרוֹ, אֶת הַטָפֵל לְבְּשָׂרוֹ, וּמְכָּל מָקוֹם הוּא בְּדוֹמֶה לְהָעִיקָר, כְּדְרָשַׁת רַבֹּתֵנוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה, עֲל הַפָּסוּק ונשאו אתך, אתך בדומין לך. ומבואר בספרי דקדוקי, דהטפל המרומז בלשון את הוא טפל יותר מהטפל שבלשון עם

Even though the usage of the word “with” implies that one thing is secondary (“with”) the other (earlier Part Two), nevertheless, the secondary thing is relative to the primary. This is similar to the word “es” (in Loshon HaKodesh). Our Rabbis teach us in the Talmud, (Pesachim p. 52b, and another example in Brochos, p. 36b) that the word “es” is inclusive, that is, “ ‘and es its flesh (Mishpotim, 21:28),’ includes that which is secondary to its flesh [its hide].” So although (in the example) the hide isn’t even mentioned, and is included by the word “es,” the hide has a relationship to the flesh of the animal.

כְּדְרָשַׁת רַבֹּתֵנוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה, עֲל הַפָּסוּק וְנָשְׂאוּ אִתְּךָ, אִתְּךָ בְּדוֹמִין לְךָ

Further proof can be brought from the verse where Yisro tells Moshe Rabeinu (Yisro, 18:22), “…and they [the leader you appoint] will bear the burden with you.” Our Rabbis explained, “With you, [meaning that they] similar to you.” (Kiddushin 76b, Sanhedrin 32b, Horoyos 4b). 

וּמְבוּאָר בְּסִפְרֵי דִקְדוּק, דְּהַטָפֵל הַמְרוּמָז בְּלְשׁוֹן ״אֶת״ הוּא טָפֵל יוֹתֵר מֵהַטָפֵל שֶׁבְּלְשׁוֹן ״עִם״

 It’s brought down in sifrei dikduk (grammar books on Hebrew, the Holy Tongue) that the “secondary-ness” implied by the word “es” is greater than the “with.”

 That means that the word “with” implies a closer relationship between the primary it and the secondary item (see The Rebbe’s Note in Concepts).

So, for example, the statement, “Es HaRabi (״es״ the Rebbe) went to 770,” would imply that the Rebbe’s secretariat went with him without needing to mention them. Whereas, “The Rebbe went to 770 and the Secretariat went with him,” implies that although the Secretariat are secondary to the Rebbe, the Secretariat nevertheless has a unique relationship with the Rebbe.

וְעֲל פִּי זֶה, בְּלְשׁוֹן ״אֶת״ עִיקָר הָהַדְּגָשָׁה הוּא שֶׁהַדָבָר(שֶׁאוֹמְרִים עָלָיו ״אֶת״) הוּא רַק טָפֵל, וּבְּלְשׁוֹן ״עִם״ עִיקָר הָהַדְּגָשָׁה הוּא עֲל הַדִמְיוֹן דְּשְׁנֵי הַדְבָרִים

Accordingly, in the word usage es,” to include something else implies the (relative) insignificance of the secondary item to the primary. On the other hand, “with” emphasizes the relationship between the primary and secondary.

וּמִזֶה מוּבָן, שֶׁעִיקָר הָהַדְגָשָׁה בְּ״יְהִי הַוֲיֶ’ אֱלֹקֵינו עִמָּנוּ״ הוּא לֹא שֶׁהַוֲיֶ’ אֱלֹקֵינו הוּא טָפֵל כְּבַיָכוֹל לְהָאָדָם, אֶלָא הַדִמְיוֹן כְּבַיָכוֹל שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶם

So the implication of the verse, “May G-d, our G-d be with us,” is not, G-d forbid, that G-d, our G-d should be secondary to us, but to emphasize the relationship between us and G-d. Yet the implication is still that one is primary and the other is secondary.

Had the verse used the Hebrew word “es” to express G-d being with us, that would show on G-d’s being secondary to us, as it were. Now that the verse uses the word, “im,” G-d’s relationship to us is emphasized.

Being an Eved

דְכְּמוֹ שֶׁהַשְׁלֵימוּת דְעַבוֹדַת הָאָדָם הִיא כְּשְׁהָעַבוֹדָה שֶׁלוֹ הִיא בְּכּחַ עֲצְמוֹ, שֶׁלָכֵן הַוֲיֶ’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ הוּא טָפֵל כְּבַיָכוֹל לְהָאָדָם כְּנִזְכָּר לְעֵיל, סְעִיף ב

Since a wholesome service to G-d is when a person serves out if their own effort (Mikneh Rav, Sefer HaMa’amorim, 5666).  Then, G-d is, so to speak, secondary to the Jew’s service.

Being that self-sacrifice means that a person will serve G-d beyond His requirements, then a Jew’s service is of primary importance. G-d given inspiration is secondary to the service of personal effort.

עֲל דֶרֶךְ זֶה הוּא לְאִידָךְ, שֶׁהַשְׁלֵימוּת דְעֲבוֹדַת הָאָדָם הִיא כְּשֶׁעַבוֹדָתוֹ [גַּם הָעַבוֹדָה בְּכֹּחַ עֲצְמוֹ, וְגַּם הָעַבוֹדָה דְּמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ, כּוֹלֵל גַּם הַמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ עַל עִנְיָנִים שֶׁעֲל פִּי דִין אֵין מְחוּיָיב לִמְסוֹר נַפְשׁוֹ עֲלֵיהֶם] הִיא לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה לַעֲבוֹד אֶת ה’ אֶלָא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא בָּטֵל לֱאֱלֹקוּת

The opposite is also true. The service of a Jew is whole (the service out from personal effort, and even self-sacrifice beyond the letter of the law) when it is not motivated by his or her desire to serve G-d. The wholeness of the Jew’s service is a result of being humbled by G-dliness.

When a person is motivated by feeling small in the presence of G-d’s greatness, then the ego is not the motivating force. When a person is motivated by a personal decision, their subsequent humility is driven by ego.

דְּכִּיוָן שְׁבִּיטוּלוֹ לְהַקָדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הוּא בִּיטוּל בְּתַּכְלִית, לָכֵן, כָּל מִצְוָה וּמִצְוָה (גַּם כְּשֶׁעֲל פִּי דִין אֵין מְחוּיָיב לִמְסוֹר נַפְשׁוֹ עֲל זֶה) הִיא אֱצְלוֹ בְּאוֹפֶן שֶׁאֵין שַׁיָיךְ כְּלַל שֶׁלֹא לְקַיְימָה, אֲפִילוּ כְּשֶׁקִיוּמָה הוּא עֲל יְדֵי מְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ

Since the Jew’s humility to G-dliness is a complete one, then every mitzvah that presents itself (even the ones that don’t require self-sacrifice) is an opportunity that cannot be missed.

It should be noted, that self-sacrifice in Chassidus means simply to put one’s own priorities and inclinations aside for the greater good. Spending time helping others or learning Torah when we would otherwise not want to is self-sacrifice.

וְיֵשׁ לְהוֹסִיף, דְעֲל יְדֵי הַבִּיטוּל לֱאֱלֹקוּת, מִיתּוֹסֶף גַּם בְּהַמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ. דְּכַּאֲשֶׁר הַמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ שֶׁלוֹ הִיא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה וְהִחְלִיט לְקַיֵים צִּיווּי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גַּם כְּשֶׁצָרִיךְ לָזֶה מְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ, הַרֵי יֵשׁ אֱצְלוֹ נְתִינַת מָקוֹם שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְהְיוֹת גַּם בְּאוֹפֶן אַחֵר, וְזֶה שֶׁבְּפּוֹעֵל הוּא עוֹמֵד בְּמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ הוּא רַק מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִחְלִיט כֵּן. מַה שֶׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשְׁהַמְסִרַת נֶפֶשׁ שֶׁלוֹ הִיא מִפְּנֵי בִּיטוּלוֹ לְהַקָדֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁלָכֵן כָּל מִצְוָה שֶׁצִּוָה הַקָדֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הִיא אֱצְלוֹ בְּאוֹפֶן שֶׁאֵין שַׁיָיךְ כְּלַל שֶׁלֹא לְקַיְימָה, הַרֵי אָז אֵין נְתִינַת מָקוֹם כְּלַל שֶׁיִהְיֶה בְּאוֹפֶן אַחֵר

In addition, through having so humbled to G-dliness, the quality of the person’s self-sacrifice increases. When a person’s self-sacrifice is driven by a personal decision or resolution to fulfill the commands of the Holy One Blessed Be He to the point of self-sacrifice, there is still room for other possibilities. The fact that the person stands ready to sacrifice themselves is a result of the decision.

The greatness of a decision (willpower) is that it transcends the mind, body, and emotional state. The downside to a decision is that we can change our mind (see Will in Concepts, Part Two).

Self-sacrifice driven by humility to G-d is not so. Being that the driving force is greater than the person, the possibility of not fulfilling a mitzvah becomes impossible. 

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