Summary of Part 1:
Chanukah is the most auspicious time for transforming the days of suffering into days of joy and thanksgiving, to be close to Hashem as it will be in the world to come. This is achieved in two ways: A) through thanking Hashem and finding the aspects of relief that exist within the difficulties, and B) by learning halacha with contemplation that every law is a revelation of Hashem’s will. This enables us to be close to Him through all aspects of the world.
…through this comes giving birth with ease.
The main form of sweetening all the judgments and distress, as is known, is to ‘give birth’ to the holy intellect – to know and perceive Hashem. The way in which this takes place is that the recognition of Hashem’s greatness appears specifically when one emerges from distress, lack of enthusiasm and difficulty. For it is imperative that there be a lack of light in the lowly places in order that through this one can come to a new perception of Hashem when he is saved. However, the Rebbe revealed a segulah for ‘giving birth’ with ease – to say the chapter of Tehillim beginning “Mizmor L’etodah” (Tehillim 100) [unlike the prevalent custom to thank Hashem after the birth], for when a person thanks Hashem and learns Halacha even before the salvation, without falling in his spirit because of the distress, with this he causes the ‘birth’ to take place easily. Then, the knowledge that he is close to Hashem is born even before the physical salvation. This is the secret of the mystical intentions of Chanukah, to shine the light down to the ‘feet’ – to the lowest facets of the soul.
…Halacha too, is an aspect of giving birth…
The revelation of the law into the world takes place much in the same way as the process of giving birth. For the supporters of Torah scholars give away their money, which is an aspect of lack, and through this the halachos are innovated and ‘born’ [See inside the Lesson for a fuller explanation of the connection between Halacha and birth]. Since the halachos are an aspect of Hashem’s kindness, automatically the bounty is returned and their lack is filled. Just like the kindness that is revealed has the power to bestow monetary bounty in return, so too is it able to bestow a revelation of kindness in the form of closeness to Hashem from any place of deficiency.
This also provides us with a simple piece of advice, to support those learning Torah, for through this one merits to the light of kindness contained within the halachos and will thus be able to strengthen himself in every situation. On a deeper level, this relates to the Pidyon (monetary redemption) that is given to the Tzaddik, for the main miracle that is brought about through this is not only the physical salvation, but rather redemption of the holy intellect from exile, that one should be able to always be close to Hashem.
…The nature of the moon is cold, and in the future it will be filled like the light of the sun, an aspect of the filling of deficiency.
Until now we have spoken about the advice of giving thanks in order to take a person out of suffering. However, in truth, this is advice for all times when a person feels a coldness and lack in his service of Hashem. Through strengthening oneself in giving thanks and learning Halacha one can fill the lack of the moon that it should shine like the light of the sun. On a deeper level this is the secret of the unification of Hashem and his Divine Presence, the unification of the aspects of the sun and moon, which is the purpose of all the mitzvos, to become one with Hashem through performing the mitzvos. This is achieved by giving thanks and learning Halacha.
…originally, when the blood floods the heart, this is an aspect of a deficiency in truth, an aspect of “men of blood will hate one who is complete”(Mishlei 29)
When a person is in distress and the blood doesn’t flow properly, then one despises hearing words of truth, that there is surely always a point of good and things aren’t all bad. When one is ‘in the moment’ he desires only a manifest and complete salvation, he is not willing to understand that his main salvation is that he should receive the intellect to know that he is close to Hashem. This is the meaning of the verse: “men of blood will hate one who is complete” – when the blood and troubles take hold one hates the truth.
When one emerges from the distress, then the truth shines forth and brings completion to speech.
The weekdays, with all their obligations and responsibilities, jumble the mind and prevent a person from feeling close to Hashem. This ‘forgetfulness’ is mainly caused by one’s faculty of speech, for speech is that which connects a person with the light of truth, to emerge from distress through giving thanks and learning Halacha. Through this the faculty of speech is perfected in complete holiness and one’s faith can no longer be disturbed.
The faculty of speech is divided into four categories, two of a physical nature and two of a spiritual nature. [This is a very deep concept that contains much mystical depth; we have only explained that which practically emerges from it.]
One type of speech is that which that connects people – like pleasant words with the members of one’s household or with one relatives and friends. This is called ‘speech of charity’. With an abundance of speech in relation to physical needs one can forget Hashem and become ‘cooled off’ from the light of emunah. However, when one remembers the truth, even in the darkness, then these words do not distance him from Hashem and he can constantly remember that he is close to Hashem.
The second type of speech is that of confession, when one speaks words in order to rectify the past, this is known as ‘speech of repentance’, as the verse stated: “take words with you and return to Hashem” [This form of speech is the main rectification for the ‘speech of charity’, to arouse oneself to remember Hashem]. However, if one does not constantly involve himself in connecting to the truth by remembering Hashem’s infinite mercy, then when he sees how immensely far from Hashem he is, he can be drawn further away from Hashem and despair specifically because of this improper repentance. Yet with the light of truth one will remember Hashem’s mercy and believe that the words of repentance have the power to overturn everything from evil to good.
The third type of speech is that which is used for control and forceful commands and is called “the speech of the affluent”. This type of speech is used mostly for giving instructions in order to get things done as one desires. These words often contain a great deal of anger and can be the cause of much anguish which can distance a person from Hashem. Yet with the light of truth one will not be distanced by such words since he will remember that Hashem’s providence is in these words too.
The fourth type of speech is that which is used in serving Hashem through Torah and tefillah and is called “the speech of malchus (kingdom [of holiness])” because the main revelation of Hashem’s Kingship is brought about by words of holiness, as the Zohar teaches “malchus is the mouth”. However, these words are only capable of bringing us close to Hashem in as much as we connect to the light of truth that Hashem hears every single word.
When the light of truth shines forth and speech is perfected, then one can be in this world without becoming bewildered and forgetting about the delights of the world to come. He will thus be truly close to Hashem, always.