This week we begin learning the section of “Shluchim v’Shutfin” in the Rambam. This section deals with the laws pertaining to agents and partners of a person. While at first glance it may seem that these laws are not intrinsically connected to each other, the Rebbe (Shabbas V’aeira 5746) explains their common denominator:
Every Jewish soul is sent on a mission: to be Hashem’s personal “shliach” (agent or messenger) to this world. The world seems void of G-dliness and it is our job to reveal the truth of Hashem in this world. When a Jew does his mission correctly, they then reach the elevated state of “shutaf” (partner) with Hashem. This is evident by the words of the Gemara (Shabbos 119b): “Rav Hamnuna said: Anyone who recites — in the davening of Friday night — the passage of vayechulu, the Torah ascribed him credit as if he became a partner with the Holy One, Blessed be He, in the act of Creation.”
You Bring the Chickens, I Bring the Eggs
This special avoda, to become partners with Hashem, is brought out in the following Halacha of Hilchos Shluchim v’Shutfin (8:1):
“When a person gives eggs to a chicken farmer with the intent that the chicken farmer have chickens sit on the eggs until they hatch, and then for the chicken farmer to raise the chicks with the profits to be divided between them, the owner of the eggs must provide the chicken farmer with a wage for his work and sustenance [in addition to the percentage of the profit agreed upon].”
The world was created like an egg. Inside the shell of the egg there is the full potential for a chicken to hatch and come to life, but if no chicken sits on the egg, it will not fulfill its potential. There are times when the owner of the eggs (who lack the means to realize the potential of his eggs) must give them to another who has chickens to sit on the eggs so as to reveal the chicken that is inside the egg.
Why is Yiddishkeit like Egg Hatching?
The same is true with the creation of the world. The world has the potential to express the G-dliness that is truly within, but was purposely concealed by Hashem. Hashem made it so that He is — as it were — “unable” to reveal the G-dliness on His own. He thus gives over the “egg” (the world) to those that “have the chicken to sit on the egg” — the Jewish people — who have been given the ability to reveal the “chicken” — the G-dliness that is within the world.
Now, in order to act as a shliach of another person, there must be a basic similarity between the agent and the one that is sending him. This is expressed in the famous halacha (Ibid 2:1), that “a non-Jew may not be appointed as an agent for any mission whatsoever. Similarly, a Jew may never be appointed as an agent for a non-Jew for any mission whatsoever.” Only a Jew who has a Neshama which is one with Hashem can fulfill this special mission and shlichus that Hashem has given us.
Plus Good Pay
This halacha about the chicken and the eggs should also serve as an inspiration for us as we do our shlichus and prepare ourselves and the world around us for Moshiach:
If one looks carefully at the aforementioned halacha, they will notice a fascinating detail. In addition to the fact that — as partners — the owner of the eggs and the owner of the chicken will split the eventual profits, the Rambam rules “the owner of the eggs must provide the chicken farmer with a wage for his work and sustenance.”
Thus, we Bnei Yisroel who “own” the “chickens” can rightfully turn to Hashem (the owner of the “egg”) and demand that Hashem provide for his partner during this last period of galus, as we await the Geulah to “hatch” from the concealment of the the physical world.
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One may wonder: after all the work that Bnei Yisroel has done to reveal the “chicken from within the egg” and Moshiach has yet to come, what more resources do we have?
Exactly thirty years so, on Shabbos Tazria-Metzora 5751 (1991), the Rebbe addressed this very issue: “Since we’ve already completed everything required of us to bring the Redemption, we ask what is the “straightforward path” ( — the easiest and fastest among all the paths of Torah) to be chosen by the Jewish people who have concluded their service to realize the revelation and coming of Moshiach?
The answer is: “learning topics in Torah concerned with Moshiach and Redemption is the ‘straightforward path’ to actually cause the revelation and coming of Moshiach and Redemption.”