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The 28th of Elul was the fourth day of creation in which the "two great lights" were created. The special theme of this Shabbos on which G-d blesses the year has been revealed to us through the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and Alter Rebbe, whom the Previous Rebbe called the "two great luminaries. The revelation is even greater for this reason. Rosh Hashanah recalls the day on which Adam was created.
Having been composed of: The body of the earthly and the soul of the heavenly, Rashi, Bereishis man comprises the joining of the physical and spiritual, celestial and terrestrial; the absolute nethermost with the ultimate supernal. What is the point of this unification? Man's soul stems from the absolutely loftiest plane. The Alter Rebbe explains this in Tanya: Truly a part of G-d above, as it is written, "And He breathed into his nostrils a breath of life Tanya ch.
As Torah Or describes it: All of the living beings, the flora and fauna of the world, were created body and soul life-force together, as one entity, just as we see them now.
The Talmud expresses it thusly: All creatures were brought into existence in their full form beauty. Rosh Hashanah 11a This means that body and soul were created jointly, and both materialized together. Hence, the Torah tells us, that G-d saw that all He had wrought was "very good. But not man! He was made in a different way. First G-d gathered soil from the corners of the earth and formed the clay body -- it was not alive -- but it was a fully formed body -- all limbs, organs, veins, sinews, nerves etc.
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Especially as man was formed from bits of earth gathered together from the low ground, not even from the mountains, and kneaded into a clay body, as Rashi puts it: It is like a kneader of bread who first pours in water and afterwards kneads the dough -- similarly here: He first watered the ground and afterwards He formed man. Torah Or ponders this point and then explains: Because man has been singled out among all the creations of the universe and through man all creation can be uplifted, as it says: "He has also placed the world in their heart" Kohelles For this end his lofty soul must be clothed in a lowly body, so that all other aspects of creation may be raised along with it.
For example, when one wishes to raise a heavy object from the ground with a lever, the end of the lever must be placed under the lowest part of the object in order to raise the entire object. If not the lower sections would not be raised. Therefore man is unique, his body is lowly dust -- but his soul is supernal, "truly a part of G-d," and only he has the power to raise all aspects of the corporeal world -- even the lowliest of matter -- to the highest spheres of holiness.
Torah Or, Bereishis Thus, the theme of Rosh Hashanah -- the salient point -- is the joining of the extremes to effect the goal of creation. And it is this theme, which we can also find in the two great lights -- their place is in the heavens, but their job is to illuminate the lowly worlds!
In a like manner we may view the role of the "two great luminaries" -- the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe. These two human "floodlamps" illuminated the universe with the teachings of Chassidus -- the highest heavens -- and yet they also realized that their ultimate goal was to brighten the lives of all the Jews here on earth.
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Their purpose was to spread the wellsprings of Torah and Chassidus to the farthest "outside," to shine on the deepest, darkest crevices of the earth; their goal was to illuminate. We now find more meaning in associating the occurrence of the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah on the 28th of Elul, the day the lights were set in the heavens, with the emphasis on the teaching of the "two great luminaries," that G-d blesses Rosh Hashanah on this Shabbos and the blessing continues all year.
It fits with the theme of Rosh Hashanah -- the joining of opposite extremes.