In HaYom Yom for the first day of Shavuot it says:

The Baal Shem Tov passed away on Wednesday, the first day of Shavuot, 5520 (1760) and is interred in Mezibuz. The Alter Rebbe Commented (on Wednesday, the 20th of Kislev 5559 (1798) in Petersburg): "On the fourth day the luminaries were taken away."

It is taught both by the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn) and the Rebbe of this generation (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) that these aphorisms, which influence each day, are continuous and increase each year.

What is being emphasized here and how is this relevant today?

1 Answer 1


It’s written in HaYom Yom for the first day of Shavuot that the Ba’al Shem Tov passed on the first day of Shavuot 5520, which was the 4th day of the week (this year is his 263rd yartzeit).

זכר לחתימת ברכת כהנים, ושמו את שמי על בני ישראל ואני אברכם. היינו אברכם הוא גי׳ רס״ג. עיין במדבר ו:כב-כז

It notes that the Alter Rebbe commented on the 20th of Kislev, 5559 (meaning Motzi 19 Kislev, the day referred to as the Rosh HaShanah of Chassidut and like is noted in Sha’alot v’Teshuvot Min HaShamayim, 5, this day is called יום הבשורה and is associated with Eliyahu HaNavi who will bring us news of good , salvation and comfort (like is said in the blessing after meals ) together with the coming of Moshiach) in connection with this that on the 4th day of Creation the luminaries were set in the heavens. (For a full explanation of this, see Sefer Pri Tzaddik by Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin, Adar-2, chapter 2, beginning with the words,חודש העיבור מוסיפין כו׳, who also emphasizes the significance of the 19 year cycle like the 19th day of Kislev)

The details of the story of the six days of Creation and the first Shabbat mentioned in Bereshit (literally the words and letters of the Sefer Torah) are paradigms for all of existence according to Jewish tradition. They endure continuously and without interruption, maintaining and sustaining all of existence. Like is found in the first chapter of Sha’ar HaYichud v’HaEmunah in the Tanya quoting the Ba’al Shem Tov.

In that context: The Ba’al Shem Tov’s name is: ישראל בן אליעזר This is gematria 901. When including the 13 letters from his name (13 which is gematria אחד, like G-d is one and also gematria אהבה. That two times ‘light’ אור is ואהבת. And this parallels the two times that פניו אליך, which is also gematria אור, appears in the Blessing of the Kohanim.) the sum is 914.

The creation of the luminaries (the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, The stars which are formed from the Moon and not created on their own are the concealed aspect of the Moon in its original state. That the two great luminaries [which correspond to the two times light mentioned above and the two mentions of פניו אליך in the Birkat Kohanim] were created equal.) on the 4th day of Creation is recounted in Bereshit 1:14-19.

In posuk 1:17 it explains how G-d placed them (the Sun, Moon and Stars) in the firmament of Heaven to radiate light on the Earth. ויתן אתם אלהים ברקיע השמים להאיר על-הארץ

[That light, אור, is also gematria רז, meaning mystery or secret סוד.

This is a reference to the four general levels of comprehension of the Torah,פשט (the plain meaning), רמז (the hinted meaning through logical reasoning), דרוש (allegorical meaning drawn from metaphors and models) and סוד (the kabbalistic meaning referred to as the secrets of the Torah) which together are called by the acronym, Pardes פרדס, meaning grove or garden. And these four levels of Torah comprehension correspond with the four rivers described in Bereshit 2:10-14 like is explained in the Zohar to Bereshit 26b. The kabbalistic method סוד or רז corresponds with the fourth river, פרת, which in the blessing of the Kohanim corresponds to the first mention of פניו אליך.

But the second mention of פניו אליך in the blessing of the Kohanim is referring to רז דרזין, the secret of secrets.

This is the level of Chassidut which was founded by the Ba’al Shem Tov and which corresponds to the single stream mentioned in Bereshit 2:10 which is the source of the four streams which divide from it in Bereshit 2:11-14.]

The phrase ויתן אתם is gematria 907. When including the 7 letters (כל השבעיין חביבין), the sum is 914 which is also the gematria of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s name.

This year, outside the land of Israel, Shavuot falls on erev Shabbat and Shabbat Kodesh, the sixth (6) and seventh (7) days of the week (for a total of 13, like the letters of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s name). Or from the context of inside the land of Israel, the Festival of Shavuot (יום טוב, which is the Roshei Teivot י״ט, alluding to the 19 year cycle that aligns the solar and lunar calendars like is explained by Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin above, and also to the 19th of Kislev, יום הבשורה, the Rosh HaShanah of Chassidut connected with Eliyahu HaNavi who announces the redemption) flows and ascends continuously and without interruption into Shabbat Kodesh which is equated with the complete and final redemption and the coming of Melech HaMoshiach.

And in the context of this year (that the 2nd day of Shavuot falls out this Shabbat, the 7th day, like the 7 letters from the phrase ויתן אתם, and all sevenths are cherished by G-d), that emphasizes this year to be a year that emphasizes the qualities of the letters (that G-d is one and in all things and people, and G-d loves all His creations, allusions from the 13 letters (6 plus 7) of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s name).

Chag Same’ach and Shabbat shalom to the entire Mi Yodeya community.

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