Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rashbi -- Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Lubavitcher Rebbe, Chassidic Discourse "Lehavin Inyan Rashbi" L'ag B'Omer 5745

To understand the significance of Rashbi: we find in the Zohar (which is "his book" (Zohar III 124b)) that he is praised with awesome praises, such as R' Yehuda who calls him "Shabbos" and "Who is the face of Adon Hashem? This is Rashbi". We can understand this from the explanation as to why we praise Hashem in our prayers, after all: does He need our praises?

The explanation is that because all the spiritual worlds are immeasureably insignificant compared to Him, and thus His bestowal [of spiritual sustenance] to these worlds is a descent for Him, thus in order to awaken His desire to bestow [spiritual sustenance] to the worlds there is a need of our praises. [...] It is same way as regards Rashbi, that because of the tremendously great level of Rashbi relative to all the other Tanaaim [sages of the Mishnaic period] he was distinct and removed from them in a way which is beyond comparison to them, thus they had need to praise him to awaken his desire to bestow to them.

And as stated by the Rebbe Maharash that the incomparable distinction between the rest of the Tanaaim relative to Rashbi was on the order of the distinction between created beings relative to their creator.

View the discourse

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