Exploring the Soul - V'Chol Odom 5679

A chasidic discourse by Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn of Lubavitch

Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to perform the required duties. Generally, the entry into this innermost sanctuary was forbidden. It was only on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, that permission was granted for the High Priest alone to enter.

The current discourse, delivered by R. Shalom Dovber Schneersohn, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, on Shabbat Parashat Acharei, 5679 (1919), analyzes the biblican verse which forbids any human being from being present in the sanctuary when the High Priest entered to seek atonement. If, as the verse in Leviticus states: "No man shall be int he Tent of Meeting" at that time, how could the High Priest himself be present?

By Thoroughly exploring the soul and all of its components, the discourse explains how the High Priest, on Yom Kippur, transcended the normative bounds of human limitation and ascended to the sublime level of "no man." This granted him the permission and sanction to enter the Holy of Holies.

In practical terms, says the Rebbe, this is the challenge of man: To access and utilize the sprarational dimension of the soul to reveal G-dliness within the world, through repentance, the study of Torah, and performance of mitzvot.

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