Parshat Devarim – Shabbat Chazon – seeing our destiny

Reb Shlomo on Parshas Devarim- Shabbos Chazon

I want to tell you something very very strong.

Chazon is always about seeing the future and here Tisha B'Av is to see the past, so someone asked me how does Shabbos Chazon fit in with Tisha B'Av? Strong question. So I answered like this. Everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because people didn't love each other. What does it mean to not love one another? It means I don't see you, if I hate you I don't see you, simple as it is!

So listen to this, everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed on a Saturday night. On the very last Shabbos they were there, they knew the Beis Hamikdash has just a few more minutes to be standing. Can you imagine with how much love the people met each other in the Beis Hamikdash that last Saturday night? People who hated each other their whole lives, people who spit at each other, can you imagine the way they saw each other that last Shabbos?

So every Shabbos Chazon the holiest thing happens to us yidden. The Ribbono Shel Olam is showing us every Jew who ever lived from Avraham Avinu until Mashiach is coming. He is showing us every yidele and whatever happens to them.

This is the Chazon.

The Rabbis teach that since the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of 'sinat chinam', it will be rebuilt out of 'ahavat chinam' -- baseless love.

May we all be blessed to truly renew and deepen our 'achdut', oneness and unification with each other and with Hashem, and may we merit to see the reestablishment and return of the Beit Hamikdash, [which is already complete, it only needs to be brought down from heaven to earth] quickly in our days, together with the speedy arrival of Mashiach Tzidkeinu. Amen, kein yehi ratzon.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!!, B'Ahavah U'Bivracha R Sholom Brodt z”l

Especially Now! Especially now during the 9 days, the importance of tzedakah is heightened.

צִיּוֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּט תִּפָּדֶה וְשָׁבֶיהָ בִּצְדָקָה

"Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness." (Isaiah 1:27)

Shabbat Chazon - Shabbos of Vision


In a 'sicha' (Torah and Chassdus talk) given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l on Shabbos Chazon 5750 (1990) the Rebbe opens with a well known Chassidic explanation: The name of this Shabbos, 'Shabbos Chazon', (is so named) because on this Shabbos the Future Temple 'is shown' to everyone. This explanation is the opposite of the simple and straightforward meaning of Shabbos Chazon. "Chazon Yeshayahu" [Is. Chap 1] is the third and last in a series of three 'haftarot' known as 'tlasa d'puranusa' - three (Haftorah readings) of retribution. Chazon Yeshayahu, which is always read on the Shabbos before Tisha b'Av - the fast of the 9th of menachem Av, is replete with very strong words of rebuke and warnings of impending destruction. (This year the fast starts this Monday night and concludes Tuesday night at the appearance of three stars that can be seen at once).

On the seven Shabbatot following Tisha b'Av, we read a series of seven Haftorah portions known as 'shivah d'nechamsa' - the seven (readings) of comfort- prophecies containing Hashem's words of comfort to the Jewish people.

Thus, the Chassidic teaching that it is particularly on Shabbos Chazon that every one of us is shown the Beit Hamikdash of the future is astounding. The Rebbe asks, would it not have been more appropriate that the vision of the future Beit Hamikdash should be shown after Tisha b'Av, when the Children of Israel are being comforted, rather than when they are being foretold of the coming destruction of the [first] Beit Hamikdash?

The explanation, says the Rebbe is based on the principle of "yeridah l'tzorech aliyah" – every 'descent is for the sake of ascent'.

Hashem is 'the essential good' and it is the nature and desire of good, to do good. Therefore there really is no room for any possibility of a true 'descent' in Hashem's world for that would be the opposite of the good. Therefore it must be, the Rebbe explains, that the intent and ultimate purpose of the 'descent' is that it should bring about an ascent of a much higher calibre and order. Since the essence of everything is its intent and purpose, thus we understand that substance of the 'descent' is the 'ascent' that it will bring about as a result. And so, the 'descent' is actually the beginning and a stage for the 'ascent'.

We need to perceive the 'descent' as a purposeful transition phase towards an even higher 'ascent'. When you want to throw a ball high into the air, you first lower your hand and pull it back to get a lot of power behind the ball. Even though you have lowered your hand, you did it only for the sake of the greater ascent.

Relating to the transition and renewal we experience each morning.



Every morning, we have been taught to say, as soon as we awake, "Modeh ani lefanecha Melech chai v'kayam, sh'hechezarta bi nishmati b'chemla, rabbah emunatecha." This verse is usually translated something like this- "I give thanks before You, Living and Existing King (or King of all life and existence), that you have restored within me, my soul, with compassion, great is Your faith."

At night when we sleep our souls ascend to heaven and are nourished there, so that we can begin each day with restored and renewed energy.

Each morning is a new gift of life and soul and for this we thank Hashem; and when we say, "great is Your faith" - we understand this to mean Your faith in us Hashem- Your faith in us, that we will do something positive and good today, is great!

The Alter Rebbe explains that the words 'Modeh Ani' - 'I give thanks', have an additional meaning. 'Modeh Ani' also means 'I admit'. Thus the verse is translated as follows:

"I ADMIT before You, Living and Existing King (or King of all life and existence), that you have restored within me, my soul, with compassion, great is Your faith."

To admit implies that initially there was a difference of opinion between two arguing parties and finally one admits to the other that they are right- they 'admit' - they allow themselves to receive and accept the correct truth, and recognize that it is not what they thought it to be.

The Alter Rebbe explains the truth that we are admitting to each morning is the correct perception of reality. From our perspective, we think that we and the universe are the real 'yesh' – a true some-thing, and the higher we go we enter realities that are less and less 'some-thing' until we reach the domain of 'ayin' – 'no-thing'. We speak of and perceive ourselves as 'some-thing' - the 'yesh', and we speak of and perceive G-d as 'no-thing' - the 'ayin'.

But the real truth that we (are meant to) contemplate and 'admit to' is that Hashem is the only real and veritable 'yesh' - 'some-thing', and that we are in fact 'no-thing'. Take for example a ray of light, we perceive it, it appears as some-thing. Now trace it back to its source in the sun- there it has no identity or integrity. That which is 'yesh' here below, is really 'ayin' – no-thing, when you trace it back to its source.

Hashem is the Ultimate Reality!

We are here in this lowest of all worlds, to bring about and manifest the revelation of this truth, this highest Divine light by our study of Torah and performance of mitzvoth and in the way we speak and listen, look and see.

This is the truth that we have to 'admit to' each morning as we awake. This is the truth that we try to admit- bring into our inner selves and consciousness. This is the truth that we must try live by each day, each and every moment. Hashem has great faith in us that we will, at least want to, do our best and so He restores our souls to us each morning.

The 'descent' of going to sleep serves the purposes of the greater 'ascent' which is to take place each day.

Modeh Ani is the transition prayer and meditation for moving from the 'descent' to the 'ascent'.

Chevre, dearest souls, as Reb Shlomo would say, bless me please and I bless you back, please let’s be in touch with our souls, let’s get back in touch with each other and with Hashem. We are waiting for Moshiach; we want him now. Hashem help us love ourselves and one another.

We are blessing each one of you with a good Shabbos.... with a joyous Shabbos.... A Shabbos of peace, love and blessings. Shalom al Yisrael. Sh'yiboneh Beit Hamikdash bimheirah b'yameinu v'tein chelkeinu b'Toratecha... NOW quickly in our days... Amen.