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Thursday, August 24, 2017 2 Elul 5777


The first Lubavitch/Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Tanya and Code of Jewish Law, once remarked that a Jew must "live with the times." His son explained the meaning: A Jew must live with the Torah portion of the week - i.e., he must assimilate the lessons of the weekly Torah portion
King and Leader
When Maimonides describes the qualities of a Jewish king, he compares him to a heart: “His heart is the heart of the Jewish people” (Hilchot Melachim 3:6).
At first glance it would have been more fitting to compare the king to the mind, since the responsibility of the king is to lead the people the way the brain controls the body. The heart has an important function, to be sure—it pumps blood and thus carries the life-force to every part of the body—but it does not lead. The brain controls the body and thus it is most similar to the role of king.
The answer is that a Jewish king has a counterpart, the Nasi, head of the Sanhedrin, and he—the Nasi—is the mind of the people.
The Nasi settles questions of Jewish law for the whole community, while the king carries them out. This role is more like the heart than the brain. If not for the heart carrying oxygen to the limbs they would be unable to carry out the brain’s directives. Like the heart, the king of the nation is the source of energy and life, and does not rest for a second. The Nasi, on the other and, gives guidance only as needed, which is why it is compared to the mind, which does take a rest at times.
Moses combined both these roles as one. He was simultaneously a teacher of Torah as well as a leader who cared for the day-to-day needs of the people. Moshiach will similarly occupy both roles. He will rule over the Jewish people and the world at large, and also teach Torah to all.
(The Rebbe, Likutei Sichot vol. 19)

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