Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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The King Is in The Field (HaMelech BaSadeh)

By: Rav Aryeh Hendler

Our relationship with The King in the month of Elul and Yom Kippur, according to the Elder Admor (Baal Tanya) with analysis and commentary from Rav Aryeh Hendler, Sgan Rosh Yeshivat Sha'alvim.

Summary of Part I: The 13 attributes (midot) of mercy represent how we perceive Hashem in this world. The Prophet Yeshayahu (54:12) reveals that the rays of sun that pass through windows will resemble the chadkod stone. Chazal (Bava Batra 75a) record a celestial dispute between Michael and Gavriel- is the chadkod referring to the shoham or yashfeh stone? Hashem decides that is shall correspond to both. The verse referring to the rays of the sun are written in the plural (shimshotayich). This refers to the higher form of revelation (that transpires on Yom Kippur)- and the lower form that transpires during the month of Elul.

The Elder Admor explains that the revelation during the month of Elul is similar to a king who is traveling in the countryside- all are permitted access to approach him. Yom Kippur resembles a king within the palace- only the chosen few may enter. The former is symbolized by the light of tzedaka- actions within the physical world. The latter expresses the Name of Hashem- on an abstract, conceptual plane.

The King cannot be "viewed" naked.  "Clothes" are required for us to comprehend His ways (to the best of our abilities) and to relate to Him. The King in the Field represents our meeting with the Divine in the world of action- clothes of tzedaka. Indeed, He is located everywhere. Access is relatively easy.

The King in the Palace portrays a deeper understanding of His ways. The garments of The King in the Palace are the Torah (the numerical value- gematria- of chad referred to in the verse in Yeshayahu is 24=the volumes of Tanach). The selected few who meet the King in the Palace are privy to a more profound understanding of His ways.

The light of tzedaka enables us to grasp the infinite via practical actions in this world. Thus, the verse states that the rays of tzedaka will heal with her wings (marpeh bichnafeyha). Tzedaka elevates the individual (with wings) towards elevated heights. The action performed by humans (itoruta dilitata) facilitates grasping the higher light that emanates from above (itoruta dilieyla).

These concepts provide practical instruction for our conduct in the month of Elul and the 10 days of Teshuva. Indeed, the King is in the Field. This month is conducive for all to approach Him, without extensive preparations. Let us elevate ourselves and grasp this opportunity.

However, the meeting in the field is only the first stage. We aspire to greet the King in the palace, to attain deeper and more profound understanding of His ways. May the "return to me" (shuva eyliy) of the field facilitate the "I will return to you" (ve'ashuva aleichim) of the palace.

We recite in the ne'ila prayer "The day has passed, the sun has set, let us enter Your gates".  From the field may we meet The King in His palace- and may He in His mercy inscribe us for good and long lives.


Categorized under: 1: Chagim > Yamim Noraim
Uploaded: 8/28/2006 10:25:54 AM