Ch. 42, Class 3

 Continuation of  Chapter 42

                                                                                    ועוד זאת, יתר על כן, בכל דור ודור יורדין ניצוצין מנשמת משה רבנו, עליו השלום, ומתלבשין בגוף ונפש של חכמי הדור, עיני העדה

In addition and beyond this pervasive influence to the community as a whole, there descend, in every generation, sparks from the soul of our teacher Moses, peace unto him, and they clothe themselves in the body and soul of the sages of that generation, the “eyes” of the congregation,

Because of the “spark” of Moses found within a spiritual leader he is called “Moses”, as in the Talmudic expression, 4“Moses, do you speak aright?” This spark is clothed not only in a leader’s soul, but also in his body. 5 This is why chassidim say that one never tires of gazing at a rebbe, for within him is a spark of Moses. These sparks which are clothed in sages and spiritual leaders enable them —

ללמד דעת את העם, ולידע גדולת ה׳ ולעבדו בלב ונפש

to impart knowledge to the people, that they may know the greatness of G‑d and [hence] serve Him with heart and soul.

כי העבודה שבלב היא לפי הדעת, כמו שכתוב: דע את אלקי אביך, ועבדהו בלב שלם ונפש חפצה

For the service of the heart, i.e., one’s love and fear of G‑d, is according to the Daat, according to one’s degree of knowledge and understanding of G‑d’s greatness, as it is written,6 “Know the G‑d of your father, and serve Him with all your heart and with a longing soul.”

Thus, in order to “serve Him with all your heart and with a longing soul,” it is necessary to “know the G‑d of your father” — to know and comprehend His greatness. This is taught to the Jewish people by the scholars of each generation, within whom sparks of Moses are enclothed.

ולעתיד הוא אומר: ולא ילמדו איש את רעהו לאמר, דעו את ה׳, כי כולם ידעו אותי וגו׳

Only concerning the future [Messianic era] is it written: 7 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the L‑rd,’ for they shall all know Me….”

Only at that time will a teacher be unnecessary. However, in our era, one needs to have a mentor impart knowledge of G‑d’s greatness if one is to know how to serve Him with heart and soul. And one’s dependence on Moses through the intermediary scholars of each generation (the “sparks” of Moses) is of the very essence of one’s divine service.

FOOTNOTES
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4.  Shabbat 101b, and elsewhere.

5.  Explaining why the Alter Rebbe says here that sparks from the soul of Moses are clothed in the body and soulof the sages of every generation, the Rebbe points out: It would seem that the order should be reversed — the sparks clothe themselves not only in the soul of the sage, but also in his body.

The Rebbe explains, however, that if the order would indeed be reversed one could erroneously be led to think that the spark of Moses clothed in the sage does not reach his body directly from Moses, except after first being clothed in his soul. By first stating “body” and then “soul” the Alter Rebbe underscores the fact that the spark of Moses clothed in the body arrives at its destinationdirectly from Moses, without the interposition of the sage’s soul. Just as the distinctive quality of Moses himself related not only to his soul but also to his body, so, too, regarding the spark that emanates from him: it is clothed directly in the body of the sage.

This helps us understand more deeply why the sages are known as Moses, as mentioned earlier, for even within their bodies a spark of Moses is clothed.

6.  I Divrei HaYamim 28:9.

7.  Yirmeyahu 31:33.