B”H

HISKASHRUS

BONDING WITH THE REBBE
AFTER GIMMEL TAMMUZ
RABBI YEHOISHOPHOT OLIVER

Contents
Introduction............................................................................................................... 4
Acknowledgments...................................................................................................... 6
The Rebbe rules upon himself................................................................................... 7
The Rebbe’s novel approach...................................................................................7
The faithful shepherd............................................................................................ 12
A test of faith........................................................................................................ 16
Lesson from Shimshon.......................................................................................... 19
Despite kashes, our mission is clear.....................................................................21
Chossid and Rebbe after Gimmel Tammuz..............................................................23
The Rebbe should be alive for you........................................................................23
Bonding with a hidden Rebbe...............................................................................24
A love that transcends all..................................................................................... 26
Testing our love.................................................................................................... 27
Gimmel Tammuz: Hiskashrus before and after....................................................29
An ever-growing bond........................................................................................... 31
Why should we miss out?!.................................................................................... 32
Reciprocating for the Rebbe’s blessings..............................................................33
A Rebbe’s role vis-à-vis his predecessors.............................................................36
Yearning of a chossid............................................................................................... 38
Passionate yearning, determined action...............................................................38
We want and need the Rebbe down here!............................................................42
Waiting for our Rosh Chodesh Kislev...................................................................44
Imagining the reunion.......................................................................................... 46
Looking forward to a new maamar.......................................................................48
Ways to bond after Gimmel Tammuz.......................................................................49
Writing to the Rebbe............................................................................................. 49
Gazing at the image of the Rebbe.........................................................................50
Audio and video of the Rebbe............................................................................... 53
Preparing for Moshiach........................................................................................... 55
Call of the hour: Learn about Moshiach and the geulah......................................55

The Moshiach paradox: Preparing and praying....................................................58
Moshiach: A cheshbon nefesh..............................................................................60
The Rebbe prepares chassidim................................................................................63
The Rebbe pours out his heart.............................................................................63
Do everything you can to bring Moshiach in actuality.........................................65
The Rebbe wants real chassidim, not yes-men.....................................................67
27 Adar: Now it’s our job...................................................................................... 68
“And He Will Redeem us”: The Rebbe responds...................................................71
“The Rebbe forewarned us”.................................................................................. 73
The Rebbe’s public will......................................................................................... 77
Crushing concealment.......................................................................................... 82
Why no new Rebbe?.............................................................................................. 83
Glossary................................................................................................................... 87
Index.......................................................................................................................... 90

Introduction
We, Chabad chassidim, find ourselves in a very difficult
time. There is much confusion about how we should
approach our relationship with the Rebbe.
We do not see the Rebbe, yet we believe that he still
leads us, for “a shepherd does not abandon his flock.”
This is unprecedented, for while every earlier Rebbe
had a successor, the Rebbe’s leadership continues even
after his histalkus.
So many chassidim have questions, valid questions,
about how to be a chossid after Gimmel Tammuz, when
we can no longer physically interact with the Rebbe as
we could before Gimmel Tammuz, and especially
before 27 Adar.1 The question is even stronger for the
younger generation, which is rapidly growing middleaged, who never saw the Rebbe, even as little children.
Although this topic deserves discussion, we need not
speculate and philosophize. The key question is: “How
does the Rebbe want me to approach this situation?”
Obviously, we can only ascertain this by delving deeply
into his words, humbly ready to eagerly accept
whatever insights we may glean.
In fact, the Rebbe prepared us for this situation in
various ways.
1

When the Rebbe’s stroke occurred.

In particular, I will make the case that according to the
principle of “he ruled concerning himself” discussed
below, the best guide for a chossid in relating to the
Rebbe after Gimmel Tammuz is the sichos that the
Rebbe delivered during the years immediately
following Yud Shevat. In these sichos the Rebbe
demonstrates how a chossid should relate to a Rebbe
after a Rebbe’s histalkus, maintaining and even
increasing his bond. Moreover, they seem to explain
the concept of hiskashrus in general with a clarity and
intensity not found elsewhere in the works of the other
Rebbeim.
Likewise, the sichos from the years leading up to 27
Adar contain much practical instruction for us today.
In my opinion, these sources in particular should serve
as the “manual” for a chossid in relating to the Rebbe
today. Those who haven’t learned through these sichos
cannot truly function as chassidim in this time, because
they lack this crucial guidance. I am not in the least bit
surprised when I observe people who have clearly not
learnt these sichos floundering in confusion.
I do not claim that these sichos resolve every possible
question that may arise concerning the relationship of
chossid and Rebbe today; however, they clarify core
issues, providing tremendous strength and
encouragement in this time of darkness and doubts.

Although there is no substitute for studying these
sources inside, I have compiled some highlights in this
book, along with some other sources of relevance, and
elaborated upon them to the best of my understanding.
May this compilation help provide guidance and
encouragement in this trying time, until we are
reunited openly with the Rebbe—“And your teacher will
no longer hide from you, and your eyes will behold
your teacher.”2
Yehoishophot Oliver
Baltimore, Maryland
rabbioliver@gmail.com
443 602 1068
Acknowledgments
I would like to thank all my teachers over the years for
their inspiration, but especially my teachers from
Yeshiva Gedolah, Melbourne, Rabbis Yaakov Winner
and Mordechai Szcmerling, for first giving me an
appreciation for the Rebbe’s teachings and for their
inspiration over the years.
Thank you to my parents, Kasriel and Zippi Oliver, for
encouraging me in my writing, and most of all to my
dear wife, Atara, for supporting me to write the articles
that developed into this book.

2

Yeshaya 30:20.

The Rebbe rules upon himself
The Rebbe’s novel approach
On several occasions the Rebbe discussed the idea
taught by the Baal Shem Tov that we are judged in the
heavenly court according to the way we judge others.3
At first, the Rebbe explained this as teaching the
importance of limud zechus, viewing a fellow Jew with
a favorable eye, for otherwise the very same guilty
verdict that one issues mentally upon the conduct of
another may well, G–d forbid, befall oneself in the
Heavenly Court.
However, on later occasions the Rebbe applied this
idea in a novel, positive way, using it to explain how we
ought to relate to statements of tzadikim about one
another. Following are two examples:
1. The Rebbe derives from the Alter Rebbe’s
statements concerning his Rebbe, Reb Menachem
Mendel of Vitebsk, that the same applies to the
Alter Rebbe himself:4
The Baal Shem Tov taught5 concerning the
statement of the Mishnah: “Retribution is
3

Cf. Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 4, p. 1207.

4

Hisva’aduyos 5742, Vol. 2, pp. 682-683.

5

Kesser Shem Tov, Hosafos, #89.

exacted from a person with his knowledge and
without his knowledge”:6 A person knowingly
[“with his knowledge”] “rules” upon another
person the punishment he deems that that
person deserves for a certain action. Then,
when he succumbs to temptation himself in a
similar matter, “retribution is exacted from
him … without his knowledge,” for he has
already decided the punishment that the other
person deserves. [The Heavenly Court then
issues the verdict that he be punished
similarly.]
Thus, since the Alter Rebbe wrote and
explained in Iggeres HaKodesh 7 (section 27,
which consoles the disciples of Reb Menachem
Mendel of Vitebsk) about the tremendous
spiritual impact of the Yom Hillula8 of a tzadik,
and this concept he wrote “with his
knowledge,” ... through this we know the
tremendous greatness of the Alter Rebbe’s
Yom Hillula—through his own words, which
were written “with his knowledge.”

6

Avos 3:16

7

The fourth section of Tanya.

8

The annual anniversary of the tzadik’s passing.

2. Likewise, in the maamar of Ve’atah Tetzaveh—
which is especially relevant for our time because it
is the most recent maamar that the Rebbe
distributed to the chassidim with his holy hands—
the Rebbe explains the same idea concerning the
Previous Rebbe’s statement about Mordechai
Hatzadik (and by extension, of course, the Rebbe
alludes that the same thing applies to the Rebbe
himself):
By quoting in his maamar the statement of the
Medrash that “Mordechai in his generation
was equal to Moshe in his generation,”9 the
author of the maamar [the Previous Rebbe]
issued a ruling upon himself that he is the
faithful shepherd—on a revealed level10—of all
the members of the generation.
For chassidim of the Rebbe, the main relevance of this
way of applying the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov to
the way we regard tzadikim is in its application to the
way we regard the tzadik closest to us, our Rebbe.
Thus, it follows simply—and the Rebbe surely wants us
to draw this simple conclusion—that in the sichos in
which the Rebbe speaks about other tzadikim “ruling
about themselves,” the Rebbe is in fact also “ruling
9

Esther Rabbah 6:2.

10

Emphasis in original.

upon himself” that his many statements concerning the
earlier Rebbeim are also intended to teach us how we,
as chassidim, should view the Rebbe himself.
Moreover, although the Rebbe had formally assumed
the mantle of leadership, his holy custom was to always
refer to the Previous Rebbe as if he were still the
Rebbe, calling him “the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the
Leader of our Generation.” Thus, it follows that the
above principle applies all the more with respect to the
Rebbe’s numerous statements concerning the Previous
Rebbe.
This answers the obvious question: Although we view
all the Rebbeim as our own, we are first and foremost
chassidim of the Rebbe. Why then did the Rebbe talk
so often about our relationship with the Previous
Rebbe? How were these statements directly relevant to
us?
Rather, in addition to their simple meaning, through
these statements the Rebbe intended to teach us—
indirectly, but clearly and unmistakably—how to be his
chassidim.
This guidance is especially relevant in our current
situation, in which older chassidim no longer see the
Rebbe physically, and a new—and rapidly growing—
generation of younger chassidim have never seen the
Rebbe.

We can and must learn how to relate to the Rebbe even
after Gimmel Tammuz by carefully studying the
Rebbe’s words concerning the Previous Rebbe after
Yud Shevat.11
Admittedly, there is an obvious, major difference
between the two situations: The Previous Rebbe’s
leadership was followed by the Rebbe’s, while we
believe the Rebbe’s leadership continues even after his
histalkus. Yet I will make the case that these
statements are still relevant to our situation, for:
1. The sichos quoted above demonstrate that the
Rebbe even learns from the statements of tzadikim
concerning other tzadikim in different situations from
their own.
For example, at first glance one might think that the
Alter Rebbe’s words concerning the passing of Reb
Menachem Mendel could not be applied to the Alter
Rebbe himself, for Reb Menachem Mendel was on a
different level than the Alter Rebbe. As is known,
although the Alter Rebbe viewed Reb Menachem
Mendel as his Rebbe after the histalkus of the Maggid
of Mezeritch, he is not counted among the chain of the
Rebbeim (shalsheles ha’yachas) because he is not from
Beis Dovid. 12

These talks have been translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Tauger in
Proceeding Together, published by Sichos In English.
11

Yet the Rebbe states, as quoted above, that the Alter
Rebbe’s statement concerning the Yom Hillula of Reb
Menachem Mendel applies to the Alter Rebbe himself.
(In fact, elsewhere13 the Rebbe goes further and states
that if the Alter Rebbe even declares of Reb Menachem
Mendel, who is not counted as a Chabad Rebbe, that
he is more present in the physical world after his
histalkus than before, this is surely true of a Chabad
Rebbe—in this case, the Previous Rebbe—and so what
occurs down here matters to the Previous Rebbe
greatly.)
Likewise, although Mordechai and the Previous Rebbe
lived in totally different ages, the Rebbe interprets the
Previous Rebbe’s statement explaining the level of
Mordechai as teaching us how we ought to view the
Previous Rebbe.
2. If anything, this is a reason to apply the Rebbe’s
statements to our current situation even more.
Although the Rebbe had already assumed the mantle of
leadership as the seventh Rebbe—at first unofficially,
and then officially, when he delivered his first maamar
—he continued to teach and set an example for

I.e., not a direct descendant of King David. Cf. Sichos
Kodesh 5741, Vol. 2, p. 600.
12

13

Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, p. 12.

chassidim on how to maintain their hiskashrus to the
Previous Rebbe.
If so, how much more so after Gimmel Tammuz, when
the Rebbe’s leadership continues, are these statements
of the Rebbe concerning the Previous Rebbe applicable
to the way we should view the Rebbe.
Put differently, the Rebbe’s statements after Yud
Shevat concerning the importance of maintaining and
even increasing our posthumous bond with the
Previous Rebbe were less practically relevant for
chassidim at the time, because although they surely
maintained their devotion to the instructions and
teachings of the Previous Rebbe, they were in the
process of appointing the Rebbe as successor. In
contrast, these statements are of much greater
relevance now, when there is no successor, and the
Rebbe continues to lead us posthumously.
3. This question can only be asked in the first place
concerning the sichos delivered after 10 Shevat 5711,
the day when the Rebbe assumed his role as Rebbe
openly and officially. Until then, however, the Rebbe
had not officially assumed the role of Rebbe, and so his
public statements concerning how to maintain
hiskashrus to the Previous Rebbe after Yud Shevat
mean just that—to guide the chassidim in how to relate
to the Previous Rebbe after Yud Shevat and how to
maintain and even strengthen their hiskashrus with
him. So these statements are surely a lesson to us.

In summary, with respect to the way that the Previous
Rebbe spoke of the Rebbe, the Rebbe establishes a
principle that “he rules concerning himself,” which
says that every judgment that the Previous Rebbe
made of the Rebbe Rashab applied to the Previous
Rebbe himself as well.
In light of this principle, when the Rebbe speaks of how
we should relate to the Previous Rebbe after Yud
Shevat, when the histalkus of the Previous Rebbe
occurred, it follows that in so doing he provides
chassidim with indirect but unequivocal guidance on
how to relate to the Rebbe himself after Gimmel
Tammuz.
I believe the Rebbe surely wants us to draw this very
simple conclusion—that we should apply to the words
of the Rebbe himself the same principle that the Rebbe
taught us to use to interpret the words of the Previous
Rebbe and other tzadikim.
Moreover, in my humble opinion, this principle is
central to approaching our relationship with the Rebbe
after Gimmel Tammuz, so I have applied it to many
statements of the Rebbe in the sections below.
The faithful shepherd
In the first few years after the Previous Rebbe’s
passing, the Rebbe mentioned time and again that the
Previous Rebbe would never abandon his chassidim,
and so he remains with us spiritually just as before.

Let’s begin with the very first letter that the Rebbe
wrote after the Previous Rebbe’s histalkus:14
The [Previous] Rebbe, my father-in-law, of blessed
memory, writes in one of his letters15 concerning
the histalkus of his father [the Rebbe Rashab] that
tzadikim act as ‘protectors of the earth’ even after
their histalkus: “Not only do they not part from
their flock, but they plead before the footstool of
the exalted Throne, and present themselves before
the splendor of the lofty, upraised G–d, to protect
over the nation of Yeshurun [i.e., the Jewish
people].”
The same is also true of the [Previous] Rebbe, my
father-in-law, of blessed memory.
However, from our perspective, we should
maintain and further strengthen our hiskashrus
and connection with him with increased vigor by
studying his Chassidic discourses, talks, and
letters, and delving into the directives found in
them, including the directives that one personally
received. In this way we will go “in the straight
path that he taught us of his ways, and we will
walk in his ways forever and ever.”16
14

Igros Kodesh, Vol. 3, p. 558.

15

Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 1, p. 141.

16

Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh, ch. 27.

In my own words: The bond between Rebbe and
chossid is very deep, and thus continues despite the
Rebbe’s passing. Thus, just as the tzadik guided the
chassidim during his lifetime, so does he continue after
his passing. He also continues to plead before Hashem
on behalf of his chassidim and the Jewish people as a
whole—and in a more sublime manner, as he has risen
to a far higher state of being.
His disciples must do their part to maintain and
intensify their hiskashrus to him by studying his
writings and directives—especially those received
personally—deriving the appropriate lessons, and
implementing them. Then the bond they establish is
eternal.
Below is another sicha that develops this concept.17
The spiritual ascents of the [Previous] Rebbe,
whose Hillula we mark today [on 10 Shevat], go
“from strength to strength”18 throughout the year.
However, these ascents are incomparably greater
on the day of his Hillula. As he ascends, he takes
along with him all those who are bound to him.
This he ruled concerning himself, that the

From the sicha of 10 Shevat 5713 (1913). Toras Menachem,
Vol. 7, pp. 337-338.
17

18

Tehillim 84:8.

shepherds of the Jewish people “will not abandon
their flock.”19
We find that the same was true of Moshe Rabenu,
of whom it is written, “He executed the justice of
G–d, and His judgment with Israel.”20 This is
interpreted21 to mean that he remained in the
desert in order to be with his flock, so that he will
be able to bring them along with him to the Land
of Israel [when the final Redemption arrives]. The
same is true of all the shepherds of the Jewish
people—their primary concern is for their flock.
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev once said that if
given the choice to be in Gan Eden on his own, or
in Gehinom together with other Jews, he would
prefer to be in Gehinom, for the main thing is to be
together with other Jews.
This is the quality of a shepherd of the Jewish
people: His entire existence and essence is defined
by his role and mission as a shepherd, and
therefore he doesn’t care about Gan Eden and the
like. What matters to him is to be together with
other Jews, for this is his task and mission.
19

Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 1, p. 141.

20

Devarim 33:21.

21

Bamidbar Rabbah 19:12.

Thus, we can deduce concerning the ascents [in
Gan Eden] of the [Previous] Rebbe that if his
ascents were not relevant to us as well, he would
forgo them in order to remain together with his
flock. It follows that he does not rise without us;
rather, he takes us along with him in his ascents.
Thus, when we move slowly and do not go along
with him, not only are we lacking in our fulfillment
of his mission, but we obstruct the [Previous]
Rebbe from ascending, for he is bound with us.
I will translate this to our current predicament after
Gimmel Tammuz, to which it surely applies: The Rebbe
maintains his bond with chassidim even posthumously,
and certainly doesn’t abandon them, G–d forbid. This is
because for him, devotion to his chassidim is of the
utmost importance, superseding even his enjoyment of
spiritual delights. By maintaining our hiskashrus with
the Rebbe even after his passing, since the Rebbe
surely maintains his bond with us in kind, we too rise
to the same lofty heights that he reaches. But this is
provided that we are sufficiently devoted to him, for if
not, since he always maintains his bond with his
followers, the opposite process occurs—the followers’
unworthiness holds the Rebbe back from rising higher,
G–d forbid.

A test of faith
Of course, one of the greatest difficulties for a chossid
in coping with the situation after Gimmel Tammuz is
the fact that we no longer see the Rebbe physically.
This was such a colossal change in our lives as
chassidim that it begs a question we should all be
naturally asking (especially on the holy day of Gimmel
Tammuz): “Why did this happen?”
The sicha below22 indicates that at least one reason for
this situation is to test our faith in tzadikim and
ascertain whether we will maintain our hiskashrus with
the Rebbe despite his concealment:
... The strength that the [Previous] Rebbe grants
us through the teachings of Chassidus continues
even now [after Yud Shevat], with no change on his
part. Even from our perspective, no change has
occurred that would justify thinking that the Rebbe
is no longer with us, G–d forbid.
Those who knew the [Previous] Rebbe in the
course of the thirty years of his leadership know
that the Rebbe would not abandon his chassidim
and leave them alone on the Shabbos of the Torah
portion of Zachor [which discusses the mitzvah to
erase the memory of Amalek], for example, when
they need to fight against Amalek.
22

Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, p. 16.

The only change that has occurred for us is that in
the past one could have thought that when he had
a private audience with the [Previous] Rebbe, he
could relate what he wanted to relate and hide
things that he wished to hide. Now, however, it is
clear to all that the [Previous] Rebbe knows about
our hidden matters as well, for in the past the
[Previous] Rebbe was vested in a physical body,
while now he transcends the limitations of a
physical body, and is entirely spiritual. 23
On the other hand, since “A tzadik who passes
away is present in all the worlds even more than
during his lifetime,”24 and “even in this world of
action he is more present,”25 the Rebbe certainly
leads the entire world, and chassidim in particular,
and arouses divine mercy [through prayer] just as
it was until know. On the contrary, he does so with
intensified vigor.
Just as every one of us was certain until now that
the Rebbe would lead us towards our righteous
Moshiach, so should we be certain now as well.
The event that happened [Yud Shevat] only
occurred from the perspective of our eyes of flesh.
23

Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh, explanation to sec. 27.

24

Zohar 3:71b.

25

Igeres HaKodesh ibid.

It is nothing but a test—one of the tests of “the
birth-pangs of Moshiach” that needs to occur
before Moshiach arrives—whose entire purpose is
to conceal the truth.
The purpose of the test is that we overcome [the
difficulty] and pass the test. In so doing we reject
and nullify the concealment, and the truth is
revealed (as explained in Chassidic discourses).
Thus, through strengthening our bond with him by
studying his teachings and fulfilling his directives
—both directives issued in public, and especially
those directives that were conveyed face to face in
Yechidus—in a concrete manner, we will
immediately merit (for we are in the period
immediately before the arrival of Moshiach) to see
the Rebbe with our eyes of flesh, and the Rebbe
will lead us to the Redemption.
According to the principle of “he rules upon himself,”
this sicha clearly contains a very practical message for
us after Gimmel Tammuz. So, to “translate” it to our
current situation:
A Rebbe provides special assistance to the Jew in
serving Hashem, enabling him to attain otherwise
unattainable heights of spirituality (this is the idea of
an “intermediary who joins”26). However, when we
Cf. Sefer HaSichos Toras Shalom p. 158; Toras Menachem
Hisva’aduyos, Vol. 2, pp. 31-32.
26

cannot see the Rebbe and interact with him directly,
we are prone to doubt the existence of this special
bond, G–d forbid, or at least not to accept it to the
same extent.
However, the true reality is that the Rebbe is a devoted
shepherd who will never abandon his flock, the
chassidim. Those who truly knew the Rebbe during his
lifetime will have no doubt about this. (And those who
didn’t can be assured of this.)
If anything, the Rebbe’s hiskashrus with his chassidim
is even greater after his histalkus, for although in
reality the Rebbe knew all along about the personal
problems of all his chassidim, before Gimmel Tammuz
some might have doubted this. However, now that the
Rebbe has transcended the limitations of the physical,
one can no longer doubt whether the Rebbe knows all
one’s personal problems, so there is no use in trying to
conceal them from him.
So although it may seem that the Rebbe is no longer
with us, G–d forbid, in reality he is with us just the
same as before. If so, why have we been put in this
situation? Hashem desires to test our faith in Him and
in the tzadikim that He sends us, and this is a key part
of the purification process that prepares the Jewish
people for the coming of Moshiach.

Lesson from Shimshon
Even after his histalkus, the Rebbe continues to lead us
spiritually. We see this principle in the Rebbe’s words
concerning the Previous Rebbe after Yud Shevat:27
People ask questions concerning histalkus [i.e.,
how can the Previous Rebbe continue to lead us
after his histalkus]. We find that the Talmud
Yerushalmi28 says of Shimshon:
In one verse it is written, “He [Shimshon]
judged the Jewish people for forty years” while
in another verse it is written, “He judged the
Jewish people for twenty years.”29 ... This
indicates that ... they were in fear of him for
twenty years after his passing in the way that
they were in fear of him for twenty years
during his lifetime.
In other words, Shimshon’s leadership and rule
continued even after his passing, for the Jewish
people were “in fear of him” [i.e., he still inspired
them to serve Hashem] for another twenty years;
thus, it is considered as if he had judged the Jewish
people for forty years.
27

Toras Menachem 5711, Vol. 2, pp. 186-187.

28

Sotah 1:8. Cf. Yalkut Shimoni, Shoftim 71.

29

Shoftim 16:31.

If this is true of a Shofet, it is certainly so with
regard to a Rebbe, since the entire being of a
Rebbe is the soul-level of Yechidah,30 and he elicits
this level into every section of his soul and of his
body. With respect to the level of Yechidah, the
event of a histalkus has much less relevance. Thus,
it is absolutely certain that a Rebbe can continue
to lead even after his histalkus, just as he did
during his lifetime.
There are certain areas in regard to which the
histalkus makes a difference. However, in other
areas [nothing has changed]. Just as things were
run until now—two, three, four years ago, and
earlier—with supernatural success, because the
Rebbe was in charge, so, too, from now on. The
Rebbe is in charge, and is running all matters. ...
Thus, just as until now, in all areas [of his
activities], there was tremendous, supernatural
success, so will it be in the future, a time when
“He is present [in the world] ... [even] more than
during his lifetime.”31

This is the most sublime level of the Jewish soul. Yechidah
comes from the word “yachid,” one and only, because at this
level, the soul is utterly united with Hashem’s very Essence.
30

Zohar 3:71b. Cf. Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh, explanation to
epistle 27.
31

Thus, the choice given us is that we have the
privilege to join him in the areas under his
leadership.
It is certain that all activities will continue as
before. And just as every living thing [constantly
grows, his activities] will conform to the principle
that “One should always rise higher in holiness,” 32
in an ever-growing and expanding manner. ... The
Rebbe gave, gives, and will give the opportunity to
everyone to take part in these activities.
He also promised that participating in his activities
will bring blessings in children, health, and
livelihood.
So the Rebbe teaches clearly that even after his
histalkus, a Rebbe never abandons his chassidim;
rather, he continues to lead them just as before. This
principle surely applies to the Rebbe himself, especially
according to the principle of “he rules concerning
himself” that the Rebbe himself taught on many
occasions.
Despite kashes, our mission is clear
How do we deal with questions and doubts, “kashes,”
that might arise concerning the relationship between
the Rebbe and chassidim after Gimmel Tammuz?
Perhaps a lesson can be derived from the sicha below:33
32

Berachos 28a.

The question is asked: Why did the histalkus of my
father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, have to occur?
We had a Jew who displayed miracles openly; if so,
we could have continued and completed the years
remaining until the arrival of Moshiach together
with him?
I have no answer to this question.
However, we should know that the reality is that “A
tzadik who passes away is found in all the worlds
even more than during his lifetime. ... This means
that even in this world of action he is found
more.”34 Thus, even now the Rebbe grants us the
strength to go out and draw a fellow Jew close to
Torah, to the teachings of Chassidus, and not only
to the school of “general Chassidus” [non-Chabad
Chassidus], but to the teachings of Chassidus
Chabad.
However, some fools ask questions [“kashes”]. The
proper solution is not to listen to them, pay
attention to them, or be deterred by them.
To apply this to our current situation: Why did Gimmel
Tammuz happen?

33

Zohar 3:71b.

34

Igeres HaKodesh, explanation to sec. 27.

One might suggest various answers based on various
sources, but ultimately we don’t know. Yet one thing is
clear. The Rebbe is still our Rebbe, and we are still his
chassidim. And he charged us with a clear mission: To
teach Torah and Mitzvos in general, and Chassidus in
particular, to every single Jew.
Can one ask questions—kashes—upon this? Yes. And
some of them can be answered, and perhaps some
cannot.
Yet the questions don’t change the facts: The Alter
Rebbe states unequivocally that the tzadik’s bond with
his chassidim continues after his passing, and this is
clearly relevant to our current situation (especially in
light of the principle, “he ruled concerning himself”
discussed earlier).
Moreover, the Rebbe even goes so far as to say that
those who get carried away with kashes and lose sight
of the pure truth of the Alter Rebbe’s words are fools.
Of course, the Rebbe’s intention is not to insult or
speak unfavorably of other Jews, G–d forbid, but to
utterly reject this way of thinking. But why do so by
calling the person a fool? This harsh choice of language
is particularly uncharacteristic when we consider how
much the Rebbe typically avoids using any even
slightly pejorative language (such as “evil” and “false,”
instead saying “the opposite of good” and “the opposite
of true”).

Perhaps this may be explained as follows: Here the
idea of a fool is one who wilfully dismisses the truth, as
the Alter Rebbe writes so powerfully in Tanya: “I do not
wish to be a fool like him to deny the truth.”35

35

Ch. 14.

Chossid and Rebbe after Gimmel Tammuz
The Rebbe should be alive for you
Just how deep should the chossid’s bond with the
Rebbe be after his histalkus?
In the year after the Previous Rebbe’s passing, on a
number of occasions the Rebbe spoke emotionally of
the Previous Rebbe in terms that one would use for
someone who is still alive, such as using the expression
zol gezunt zein, may he be healthy, or shlita, which has
a similar meaning. How can this be understood?
Perhaps one explanation can be derived from an
interpretation of the following episode. As Rabbi
Yochanan Ben Zakai lay on his deathbed, his students
came to see him. When he saw them, he began to cry.
They asked him why he was crying, and he replied:
There are two roads before me, one to Gan Eden
and one to Gehinom, and I don’t know on which
road they will lead me.36
The Chasam Sofer asks: 37 Why did Rabbi Yochanan Ben
Zakai cry in the presence of his students? Isn’t it more
appropriate to weep tears of teshuvah in private?

36

Berachos 28b.

37

Cited in Iyunim U’biurim Bimegilas Esther, p. 56.

Furthermore, did the great Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai
truly doubt whether he would enter Gan Eden?
Rather, the Chasam Sofer explains, although Rabbi
Yochanan Ben Zakai knew that his place was in Gan
Eden, when he saw his students, those who ought to
follow in his path, he doubted whether after his passing
they would indeed do so. So he wept specifically before
them, saying, “I don’t know on which road they”—my
students—“will lead me”—for the behavior of the
students has a spiritual effect upon the teacher.
When the students sensed their teacher’s pain, they
asked him to bless them before his passing. He
declared: “May G–d grant that your fear of Heaven
equal your fear of mortals.”
In other words, his students were asking him to bless
them and endow them with the strength to be able to
continue in his path even after his passing. To this he
responded, “May G–d grant that your fear of Heaven
equal your fear of mortals.” What he meant was: Even
after my soul departs from my body, and I will be in a
state of “heaven,” I hope that you will treat me as “a
mortal,” just as if I were still alive.
The lesson for us is clear.
The key to maintaining our hiskashrus after Gimmel
Tammuz is relating to the Rebbe with the same serious
devotion as if he were still alive. The Rebbe has surely
granted us the ability to accomplish this, for in reality

he did not pass away in the way that regular people do;
rather, the Rebbe is still with us just as he was before
Gimmel Tammuz, and to an even greater degree, albeit
in a hidden, spiritual fashion.
Reminding ourselves of this inner reality endows us
with the strength to maintain our deep bond with the
Rebbe and faithfully carry out his instructions despite
his (temporary) concealment.
Bonding with a hidden Rebbe
Of course, receiving direct attention from the Rebbe,
especially in yechidus, is far preferable to receiving
guidance from the Rebbe via a personal rav, one’s
communal rav,38 and so on. It’s a much more uplifting
feeling and powerful experience.
Despite the genuine advantages to a chossid receiving
direct attention from the Rebbe, this is not what
defines the Rebbe-chossid relationship. Many
chassidim, despite being imprisoned for decades in
Russian gulags, maintained their bond with the Rebbe
of their time. On the contrary, their Chassidic warmth
was so great that it kept them Torah-observant even
under the cruel Communist oppression, and in a time
when vast numbers of non-chassidim had abandoned
outward Torah observance due to the danger it posed
to their lives. Likewise, once the Previous Rebbe left
Russia, many of the chassidim who remained never
38

See section below entitled “The Rebbe’s public will.”

saw him again; nor were they to see the Rebbe until
many years later, if ever. And so on.
Obviously such distance poses challenges and is far
from ideal, but the fact that it was done demonstrates
that it is possible.
The same is true of the current situation. Although the
Rebbe is certainly leading us just as before, we are
unable to connect with him physically. Yet now, too, we
witness that many chassidim succeed at staying
devoted after Gimmel Tammuz just as much as before,
and in many cases, with even greater devotion.
Moreover, we see many people choosing to become
chassidim, including younger people who never saw
the Rebbe, or only saw the Rebbe as small children, or
were born after Gimmel Tammuz, and even total
newcomers. All these chassidim can be seen to show
devotion that matches and in many cases surpasses
that of those who merited to see and even interact with
the Rebbe physically many times.
These facts are indisputable, and they prove that this
level of bonding with the Rebbe, and the passionate
inspiration that this bond evokes, is attainable even
today.
So yes, it’s harder to maintain the Rebbe-chossid
relationship after Gimmel Tammuz, but this is a
challenge we can overcome. Although it may be
necessary to reach into a deeper part of our souls to

reach that level of inspiration, we have surely been
endowed with the full ability and tools to accomplish it.
A love that transcends all
The Previous Rebbe describes39 the special love in the
Rebbe-chossid relationship:
Ahavah, love, is the breath of life in the avodah
[divine service] of Chassidus. It is the thread that
binds chassidim to each other, that binds the
Rebbe to the chassidim, and the chassidim to the
Rebbe. Ahavah works in a direct way [initiated
affection] and also in a reflective way [responding
the other person’s affection]. It knows no barriers
and transcends the limits of time and space.
In my own words: Chassidus teaches that in the Rebbechossid relationship, three types of love should be
actively developed:
 the Rebbe should develop love for the chassidim
 chassidim should develop love for the Rebbe
 chassidim should develop love for one another
This could be a love that is initiated, or a love that
comes as a response to the other person:
 when the Rebbe initiates an expression of love for
the chassidim, they respond in kind, or vice versa
 when one chossid initiates an expression of love
for another chossid, he responds in kind
39

HaYom Yom 26 Shevat.

Again, the HaYom Yom concludes by describing the
bond of love between Rebbe and chossid as so
powerful that “it knows no barriers and transcends the
limits of time and space.”
This is also of particular relevance for chassidim after
Gimmel Tammuz, when the Rebbe is physically hidden
from us. This statement of the Previous Rebbe
emphasizes that no obstacle can overcome the bond
between chossid and Rebbe, and this surely includes
the superficial phenomenon that occurred on Gimmel
Tammuz. The chossid who is truly devoted will be able
to overcome this difficulty and even deepen his
relationship with the Rebbe despite the external
concealment.
No better example for such a deep devotion can be
found than the Rebbe’s own. His devotion to the
Previous Rebbe never waned, and only increased
further and further, despite the Previous Rebbe’s
histalkus.
Although this might seem like an advanced level, since
“I [Hashem] only ask of them [the Jewish people]
according to their ability,”40 Hashem surely grants us
the ability to attain this level of connection, each
person in his or her own way.
The main thing is that this connection enables us to
cope with the intense spiritual darkness of the exile.
40

Bamidbar Rabba 12:3.

Not only are we then not deterred by it, but we are
inspired to overcome it, emulating the Rebbe’s
inspiration for serving Hashem, revealing Hashem in
the world, and preparing it for the ultimate revelation
of Hashem with the coming of Moshiach, who will
usher in the true and final redemption.
Testing our love
The Previous Rebbe related:41
The Mitteleh Rebbe said: The Alter Rebbe
consented to being taken to prison because he
wanted to test the brotherly love of the chassidim,
[to see] how they would take his imprisonment
[another version: “how chassidim would feel his
imprisonment”]. ...
The Rebbe Rashab explained this as follows: A
Jewish leader [lit. “shepherd”] needs to know the
state of his followers [lit. “flock”], and once the
Alter Rebbe would learn that his chassidim are
lacking in brotherly love, he would be able to
correct this situation, and in order to complete his
task of rectifying his flock, it was worthwhile for
him to endanger himself!
To elaborate, a chossid relates to his Rebbe like a son
relates to a father; thus, it follows that a chossid should
relate to fellow chassidim in a way akin to the love one
has for siblings.
41

Sefer HaSichos 5696-Winter 5700, pp. 208-209.

However, in an ordinary setting the routine of daily life
will often conceal a deeply-felt love, and even a love
between blood siblings. So in order to test the true
strength of the love between chassidim, the Alter
Rebbe wanted them to be thrust into circumstances in
which such love typically comes to the fore. Just as
when a father is in danger, his children unite to do
whatever possible to rescue him, so did the Alter
Rebbe hope that when he would be imprisoned, the
chassidim would unite with brotherly love with the goal
of rescuing him. If they would not, this would indicate
that they lacked the quality of brotherly love, and he
would know to take the necessary steps to rectify it
upon his release. It was so important for the Alter
Rebbe to ensure that the chassidim felt true brotherly
love for one another that he decided that it was
warranted to endanger his life for this purpose.
We have been taught that everything that happens to a
Rebbe takes place with his consent.42 So although
Hashem put the Alter Rebbe in circumstances in which
he would be arrested, the Alter Rebbe chose to allow
that process to take its course. Likewise, it follows that
on a certain level the Rebbe agreed to be concealed
from us through his histalkus on Gimmel Tammuz.
Likewise, it is reasonable to infer that just as in prison
the Alter Rebbe concealed himself from his chassidim
with the intention of establishing the degree of
42

Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. 1 p. 89.

brotherly love between the chassidim, so is it with us
after Gimmel Tammuz: at least one way of explaining
our current situation is that Hashem and the Rebbe are
testing our love for our fellow chassidim.
However, it should also be pointed out that the
Previous Rebbe mentions that the Alter Rebbe agreed
to be arrested in order to see how the chassidim
“would take his imprisonment” or how they would “feel
his imprisonment.” Either way, this expression implies
that the ordeal of the Alter Rebbe’s imprisonment was
also meant to test the depth of the commitment and
hiskashrus between the chassidim and the Alter Rebbe.
Perhaps we can also infer from this that in our
situation as well, our hiskashrus is being tested.
These two ideas—testing the bond of chassidim with
one another, and of chassidim with the Rebbe—are
interdependent, for, as mentioned, only by truly
realizing that “we are all children of one father” can
true bonding between chassidim take place.
Gimmel Tammuz: Hiskashrus before and after
Hiskashrus is the deep, personal bond between Rebbe
and chossid that inspires the chossid to a far higher
level of connection with and devotion to Hashem. Ever
since Gimmel Tammuz occurred, hiskashrus appears to
have changed.
Before Gimmel Tammuz, one didn’t have to work as
hard to feel a sense of deep connection with the Rebbe,

for merely standing in the Rebbe’s presence lifted the
chossid up in an incredible way, suffusing him with
intense inspiration in his divine service.
Now, however, hiskashrus is an avodah—a lengthy
process that requires intense, active effort, or else it
simply won’t happen. No longer can it come though
osmosis.
Granted, one can still be in the Rebbe’s presence by
visiting the Ohel. However, only through lengthy
preparation (especially by studying the Mitteleh
Rebbe’s “Kuntres Hishtatchus”) will one truly feel that
one is in the Rebbe’s presence there. Likewise, one can
be in the Rebbe’s shul, an atmosphere permeated with
his holiness, but one will only connect with that
holiness in a deeply-felt way through lengthy
preparation (especially by studying the Rebbe’s
“Kuntres Beis Rabenu Shebebovel”43).
On the one hand, this situation creates a greater
difficulty, especially for those who lack personal
memories of seeing the Rebbe. On the other hand, one
who attains something easily usually isn’t affected as
deeply as when it comes with difficulty. Thus, Gimmel
Tammuz will necessarily be more pnimiyusdik—more
real and deeply-felt.
Practically speaking, this means that one needs to
regularly learn the Rebbe’s teachings and constantly
43

Sefer HaSichos 5752, Vol. 2, p. 456ff.

grow in following his instructions, for as the Previous
Rebbe writes,44 this is the way to attain hiskashrus.
To be sure, even before Gimmel Tammuz one could
have treated hiskashrus as an avodah, prepared for it
thoroughly, and been deeply inspired. But one didn’t
need to. One could have followed “the path of least
resistance” and sufficed with inspiration that came
automatically. Now, however, until Moshiach comes,
there is no other option—it won’t come from above.
Now the Rebbe/chossid relationship can only exist if
one actively works on it.
An ever-growing bond
Some may think that although the Rebbe remains with
us after his passing, perhaps his blessings and bond
with his chassidim diminish over time. The Rebbe
teaches us below45 that in fact, the opposite is the case:
... Yet even these hidden, sealed-away treasures
[the teachings of Chassidus Chabad] were revealed
in this generation, and until today the [Previous]
Rebbe, my father-in-law, the Leader of our
Generation, is revealing them further and further,
for even after [his passing in] 5710 [1950] he did
not abandon his flock. Moreover, he is found with
us in a way of ever-increasing holiness from year
44

HaYom Yom 24 Sivan.

45

Hisva’aduyos 5746, Vol. 1, p. 88.

to year. This year, 5746 [1986], he is with us in an
even higher manner than he was last year, 5745
[1985], and so it will continue until the Moshiach
comes, and even afterwards.
For although after Moshiach arrives, “one man will
not teach his fellow, saying, ‘come, know G–d,’ for
they will all know Me, small and great alike,” 46
there will still be a difference between “great” and
“small.” This also means that there will still be a
difference between students and Rebbes, such that
every student will be together with his Rebbe, and
through him he will join with G–d’s very Essence
—“they will know Me”—in a way of an
“intermediary who [only] connects”47 (unlike a
translator [who also divides]).
Here the Rebbe says that even after the Previous
Rebbe’s histalkus on Yud Shevat, the Previous Rebbe is
still with the chassidim, and continues revealing
Chassidus to them and leading them. Moreover, he
does so in an ever-increasing manner. (This appears to
be based on the principle the “one should constantly
rise higher in holiness.”48) In fact, this bond will
46

Yeshaya 31:33.

See Sefer HaSichos Toras Shalom, p. 158. Likkutei Sichot,
Vol. 2, p. 510. See here.
47

48

Berachos 28a.

continue until Moshiach comes, and even after, for
even then the relationship of chossid and Rebbe will
continue, with each chossid together with his Rebbe.
According to the principle of “he ruled concerning
himself” discussed above, the Rebbe’s statement
concerning the Previous Rebbe surely teaches us how
we, as the Rebbe’s chassidim, should relate to him
after Gimmel Tammuz. Not only has his flow of
blessings and personal guidance not decreased with
time after his histalkus, but it increases constantly.
Moreover, the personal bond that chassidim establish
with the Rebbe now, even after his histalkus, will
continue to grow all the more close after Moshiach
comes, for this bond will enable the chassidim to
connect with the lofty divine revelations of the
Messianic age, and with the revelation of Hashem’s
very Essence.
Why should we miss out?!
Why49 don’t we have a Rebbe that we can see?! Why
can we no longer go up and “see and be seen”?50 Are
we less worthy than the chassidim of yesteryear, of
what is now the previous generation?

This section is written in a more passionate tone than the
rest of the book, in a direct appeal to Hashem.
49

50

Cf. Shemos 23:17 as explained in Chagigah 2a.

Is it normal for a chossid to have to go to an Ohel,
where he is “seen but cannot see,” and have “the
Rebbe find a way to answer,” instead of going to a
Rebbe whom he can see and with whom he can
communicate directly? To have to be inspired from a
Rebbe one has never physically seen, of ink on paper,
of audio and video, of fading memories of aging elders?
Lomo nigorah?! Why should we miss out?! Ad mosai!
But what’s even worse than missing out is ... starting to
forget that we’re missing out. Starting to tolerate and
ultimately accept the situation and not give it a second
thought.
This is not the way the relationship of a chossid and
Rebbe should be. Although we firmly believe that the
Rebbe is with us just as before, guiding and blessing us
along every step of the way, we are not satisfied with
this. We want to see him.
As the Rebbe put it (emphasis added): “May we merit
to see the Rebbe down here in a body, and in our
immediate reality, and he will redeem us.” 51
Reciprocating for the Rebbe’s blessings
A chossid once wrote a letter to the Previous Rebbe
eagerly conveying the good tidings that the Previous
Rebbe’s blessings to a whole list of people had been
51

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

fulfilled. The Previous Rebbe replied52 (with the utmost
humility, but) with a demand:
In response to your second letter, in which you
convey at length all those whom Hashem helped,
and for whom the replies [of blessing from the
Previous Rebbe] brought them success, and the
blessings were fulfilled; our great, honorable, and
holy Rebbe53 stated clearly in words of the holy of
holies in his holy letters concerning requests for
advice in worldly matters.54 The honorable and
holy tzadik, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok,
of blessed memory, once replied to one of his
chassidim who asked him for a blessing for
children, that in reward for his faith in tzadikim, he
deserved the blessing of Heaven for healthy
children.
The success of the responses and the fulfillment of
the blessings that, with Hashem’s help, and in the
merit of our holy ancestors, we [the Rebbes]
respond to those who ask, and we bless them,
depends upon the hiskashrus [bond with the Rebbe
whom they consult] and personal conduct of those
who present the request, and upon their faith—a
52

Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 17, pp. 201-202.

53

I.e., the Alter Rebbe.

54

Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh ch. 22.

skilled faith55—in the words of our holy Rebbes, of
blessed memory.
Faith in the words of tzadikim and hiskashrus with
them cannot be merely verbal, or an emotional
resolve, to declare, “I am a chossid, I am a
mekushar [one bound with the Rebbe].” It must
express itself in one’s actions, every man and
woman according to their abilities and character,
by fixing times for Torah study and through
caution in observing Shabbos, Family Purity,
educating one’s sons and daughters, and the like.
This was the way of the original chassidim. Yes,
they would encourage their acquaintances to
become chassidim, but they would also encourage
them to engage in consistent good deeds, for on
this account, those who would present requests
[for blessing] would merit that Hashem assist them
and grant their wishes. And as a result of Hashem
granting their wishes, they increased further in
their striving for fine conduct.
I greatly enjoyed your letter, in which you wrote in
detail about those whom Hashem blessed, and
whose every request was fulfilled. However, I
would like to know, also in detail, how each and
In the original, “be’emunas eimun.” Cf. Tanya ch. 42:“.'‫וזה נכלל‬
‫”ג"כ בלשון אמונה שהוא לשון רגילות שמרגיל האדם את עצמו כמו אומן המאמן ידיו וכו‬

55

every man and woman, may Hashem bless them,
whose requests were granted—how did they
express their gratitude to Hashem by increasing
their efforts in their divine service in order to
repay Hashem?
In my own words:
1. True, an essential part of being a chossid is simply
identifying as a chossid within oneself and to
others. This identification is essentially a public
declaration of one’s faith in the tzadik and of one’s
commitment to follow that tzadik’s guidance, and
this is all very worthy and noble. However, this
identification is only the beginning; in order to be
meaningful, it must be accompanied by an
appropriate change in behavior.
2. Likewise, when one lovingly encourages a fellow
Jew to enter into the relationship of a chossid of
the Rebbe—among many other reasons, due to the
tremendous spiritual and material benefits that
this relationship stands to bring him or her—one
must stress (along the lines, perhaps, of the way
one would speak to a prospective convert) that this
also includes undertaking a great responsibility,
for becoming a chossid means genuinely
committing to follow a higher standard of behavior,
and in an ever-increasing manner.

3. When one approaches a tzadik and requests a
brachah, its fulfillment depends largely upon the
efforts and spiritual state of the person. Through
deep faith in the tzadik and consistent adherence
to the commandments of Torah in general, and the
instructions of that particular tzadik, the brachah
has the vessel for fulfillment.
4. After the brachah that one received comes to
fruition, with Hashem’s help, it behooves one to
reciprocate for the blessing by “giving back” to
Hashem and the Rebbe, by increasing still further
in good deeds. One should also encourage others
who have witnessed Hashem’s blessings in general
and the fulfillment of the tzadik’s blessings
particular to reciprocate in this manner. One
should report all these extra good deeds to the
tzadik who blessed them.
5. Now, too, after Gimmel Tammuz, nothing has
changed. Chassidim or non-chassidim can and do
write to the Rebbe—whether by sending the letter
to the Ohel, placing it inside one of his holy books,
or the like—and receive his blessings in
accordance with the efforts they make to be
worthy of those blessings. And when the requests
for blessing are fulfilled, with Hashem’s help, one
should reciprocate by intensifying still more one’s
efforts in Torah and Mitzvos in general, and one’s
fulfillment of the Rebbe’s directives in particular.

A Rebbe’s role vis-à-vis his predecessors
On the one hand, the Rebbethe Rebbe officially
accepted the mantle of leadership, declaring that we
are now in the “Seventh Generation.” This means that
in one sense, the Rebbe is our Rebbe now, not the
earlier Rebbeim. On the other hand, the Rebbe
declared that he comes as a continuation of his
predecessors, who are all our Rebbeim, referring to
them collectively countless times as raboseinu
nesi’einu—“our Rebbes, our Nesi’im.” This seems
contradictory.
It would seem that a Rebbe (i.e., a Rebbe of Chabad,
for this explanation is based on Chabad sources that
discuss the unique role of Chabad Rebbeim) plays a
number of interconnected roles vis-à-vis his
predecessors:
 a Rebbe impresses upon his chassidim the timeless
relevance of his predecessors’ teachings, urges
them to study his predecessors’ works,56 and
incorporates their teachings into his own;
 this includes publishing the works of his
predecessors; the Rebbe in particular initiated an
all-out, unprecedented campaign to publish all his
predecessors’ manuscripts
 a Rebbe takes the teachings of his predecessors
and explains them further, so that the next
56

Cf. Kuntres HaTefillah p. 11.

generation, which is on a lower spiritual level, can
understand them57
a Rebbe selects certain teachings from his
predecessors upon which to lay extra emphasis, as
per the needs of the time58
a Rebbe reveals profound teachings known only to
a select few mystics, but zealously hidden until his
time, in order to prepare us for Moshiach 59
a Rebbe doesn’t only teach and elucidate earlier
teachings, but he has the special power to innovate
new concepts in Chassidus that may not have been
consciously known to his predecessors
a Rebbe reveals G–dliness in the world (especially
by teaching Chassidus), each Rebbe doing so
progressively more than his predecessors and
thereby drawing the Shechinah (Divine Presence)
ever closer to this world, until the seventh Rebbe,
our Rebbe, reveals G–dliness fully in this world
(see very first maamar of the Rebbe 60), with the
coming of Moshiach

Ibid. Many of the maamarim of the later Rebbeim quote
earlier maamarim and explain them further, sometimes only
briefly, and sometimes in great depth.
57

58

Ibid.

59

Cf. Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 30, p. 170 ff.

60

Toras Menachem 5711, Vol. 1, p. 195.

In this dark time after Gimmel Tammuz, when the
Rebbe is hidden, it is vital that we internalize the
above. This will imbue us with the motivation and
passion to devote ourselves to studying and
disseminating the teachings of all the previous
Rebbeim, and especially those of the Rebbe, and
implementing them in our daily lives, thereby bringing
Moshiach now!
Yearning of a chossid
Passionate yearning, determined action
The Previous Rebbe writes:61
The core meaning of the terms62 ratzo and shov is
as follows:
Ratzo refers to an intense yearning and longing in
which one on a lower level desires and yearns for
something above him.
Shov, in contrast, refers to the calming and
relaxing of this intense desire. This brings the
person to return to what he was doing earlier, and
with intensified devotion.
The entire reason that one yearns for the higher
one is that one truly appreciates the greatness of
61

Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 2, pp. 422-424.

62

Fundamental concepts in Chassidus.

the higher one, and feels deeply bound up with
him. Then his deep understanding of the wishes of
the higher one induces him to return to his original
place, and to apply himself to implementing the
wishes of the higher one.
Imagine a student devoted to his teacher with
every fiber of his being, to the point that his
greatest desire is to be near his teacher. When he
is near him, he absorbs every word of his teacher’s
teachings and guidance, and these teachings
develop within him like a seed sown in fertile soil
that produces fine fruit.
Even as the teacher engages in apparently
mundane talk and superficial gestures related to
organizing simple areas of his life, the committed
student will regard it as containing an important
lesson that provides him with a fountain of
guidance in all areas of his conduct.
Understandably, when such a student becomes
separated from his teacher, he feels as if he is
separating from his life. Nothing in the world can
separate him from his teacher, for in his eyes
everything is utterly worthless in comparison with
this bond.
Let as imagine that the teacher decreed that this
student part from him and spend time in a certain
place, as dictated by his teacher. The teacher then

assigns him a certain task in this place,
prescribing a course of study for him and how he
should behave in all areas.
Although the student finds it difficult to part from
his teacher, he obeys the decree with the same
meticulousness and caution to which he is
accustomed in his bond with his teacher.
However, since his entire being is devoted to this
teacher, even while he is in this other place, he
craves and yearns for his teacher. On the contrary,
because he is there, his yearning for his teacher
becomes very intense, to the point that his soul
feels that it is about to expire. For he remembers
the days of old when he stood before his teacher,
and then what he heard, listened, and observed all
comes back to him, and he becomes drawn into
these thoughts. At that moment he is entirely
trembling and almost about to expire from this
pleasant sensation, for his soul craves to return to
the state of being in which he stood in the
presence of his teacher.
However, while he is still alive, he suddenly recalls
his teacher’s decree, who ordered him to be where
he is now, and that his teacher’s true wish is that
he be where he is. The student’s intense, powerful
desire for his teacher, and his devotion and
submission to the teacher’s wishes, bring him to a
state of external calmness and inner passion.

The teacher’s decree brings him to a state of
external calmness, and his intense inner desire is
then channeled into a passion for fulfilling the
deed that his teacher ordered him to do. The
reason for this is that the only strand that unites
him with his teacher is fulfilling the command. This
bonds him with his teacher until he becomes truly
united with him, as he was originally. So it follows
that he invests all his passion and yearning for his
teacher into the deed that his teacher commanded
him.
The intense yearning of the student and his
consistent, devoted work affect the teacher as
well, and he turns his attention to the student with
a beaming face, for “As water reflects a face [so
does man’s heart reflects the man].”63 The reason
for this is that the teacher profoundly understands
the student’s entire soul journey, his inner ordeal
and all his emotions: his tremendous yearning for
the teacher—ratzo; his external calmness—shov;
and his unlimited inner passion to fulfill his
teacher’s command. The teacher understands this
because the inner core of the teacher’s being is
that everything he understands, he grasps in the
purity of its essence. This causes the teacher to
turn his attention to his student with a beaming
face, and to shine upon him a bright light even
63

Mishlei 27:19.

from afar, via hidden methods that are known only
in the emotions of the heart, as the saying goes,
“the heart feels.”
Now, if you will take this analogy to heart and
apply your mind firmly in an effort to understand
it, you will understand the meaning of the words
ratzo and shov—how a true ratzo brings one to a
shov, and the shov elicits an even more sublime
revelation, such that one comes to perceive with
yet more illumination, purity, and clarity. ...
In conclusion, the ratzo leads to the shov, which
brings the one with the ratzo to a higher level. This
means that not only does the shov elicit a divine
revelation from above, but the person himself rises
to a higher level.
This analogy is so poignant. To sum it up, and explain
its application to serving Hashem:
Ratzo means yearning to transcend the limitations of
the external world and connect with infinite G–dliness,
and when one realizes that one truly connects with
Hashem by performing Mitzvos within the world, it
leads to shov.
Shov performed after ratzo is totally different, for it is
permeated with the intense love of Hashem and
passionate desire to connect to Him that characterizes
the ratzo. When one performs the shov in this way, he

is in turn elevated to a spiritual level even higher than
that reached while in a state of ratzo.
It should also be noted that this letter indicates that
the meaning of the terms ratzo and shov are not as
often conceived. It is widely thought that ratzo means
connecting with the spiritual, while shov means
connecting with the physical. This is simply incorrect.
Ratzo refers to an intense yearning to rise to a higher
level, while shov consists of quenching and therefore
calming that yearning through actions that actually
bond one with that higher level.
On another note: Although it is not written in so many
words, there is no question in my mind that the
Previous Rebbe is using the analogy of a chossid and a
Rebbe. Although unfortunately this description
presents a much higher level relationship than is
common nowadays between a Rebbe and a chossid, it
still powerfully captures what we should strive for as
chassidim in our deep personal bond with the Rebbe
and in our devotion to implementing his directives.
And how relevant this analogy is for us in our current
circumstances, living as we do in a time in which we
cannot physically see our Rebbe. The lesson is clear:
For the meantime it has been decreed that on the
surface, we as chassidim should be “distant” from the
Rebbe. However, during this time of separation we
must regularly remind ourselves of the Rebbe, and
becoming inspired with a yearning to stand again in his

holy presence and directly hear Chassidus from him
again. Yet at the same time we should remember that
the Rebbe has charged us with a vital mission, and by
carrying out this mission with devotion, we transcend
the external, physical separation, and we share a deep,
mutual, ever-growing bond with the Rebbe.
We want and need the Rebbe down here!
The Rebbe delivered the sicha below64 a little over a
month after Yud Shevat (the histalkus of the Previous
Rebbe):
Those who say that histalkus means that the Rebbe
has forsaken us are wild people who don’t know
what they are talking about.
In the Basi Le’Gani discourse,65 which [the
Previous Rebbe] distributed in advance to be
studied on the day of his histalkus, the [Previous]
Rebbe explains the statement of the Zohar, “When
one bends the Sitra Achra [“the other side,” i.e.,
evil], G–d’s glory is revealed [“estalek,” which
literally means “rises up”] throughout all the
worlds.”66 Will someone come here as well and
interpret the word estalek literally, G–d forbid [to
mean that G–dliness rises out of all the worlds]?!
64

Toras Menachem, Vol. 1, p. 18.

65

Sefer HaMaamarim 5710, p. 111 ff.

66

Zohar 2:128b. Tanya ch. 27. Likkutei Torah, beg. Pekudei.

Rather, the [Previous] Rebbe explains that this
expression—“G–d’s glory is revealed [estalek]”—
represents the eliciting of a very lofty light, on the
level of Sovev Kol Almin.67 This divine flow is called
histalkus because it exists in an elevated state.68
From this we can infer that the same applies
concerning the histalkus of the [Previous] Rebbe
[that he is here in our world just the same, albeit
in an elevated state]. ...
Yet despite this, we want and need the Rebbe in
the simple sense, down here.
The father of the Rebbe Rashab, the Rebbe
Maharash, once asked his father, the Rebbe, the
Tzemach Tzedek, concerning the year that was
called a “keitz” [auspicious time for Moshiach to
come]: “How could it be that Moshiach didn’t
arrive?”
“The Likkutei Torah was printed!”69 he responded.
“Encompassing G–dliness,” a sublime level of G–dliness
relative to which all the differentiation between the higher and
lower worlds is as naught.
67

68

Torah Ohr, end Vayakhel.

Printing of Chassidus is a kind of “spiritual redemption.”
Chassidus reveals the greatness of Hashem, and this
resembles the revelation of Hashem that will take place when
the redemption arrives.
69

To this the Rebbe Maharash told his father, the
Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, “But we want and
need Moshiach literally, down here!”
To sum up, histalkus is the term used for the passing of
a tzadik. Although literally it means “departure,” here
the Rebbe explains very passionately that it should not
be translated in this way when we speak of the
Previous Rebbe, for although his presence is hidden, he
is with us no less after his histalkus.
Although the Previous Rebbe is still with us, the Rebbe
declares that we must not be willing to suffice with
this, concluding with a fervent prayer that we be
reunited with the Previous Rebbe in a tangible, visible
sense.
The relevance of this sicha for Chabad chassidim after
Gimmel Tammuz is self-evident, and it is especially
potent in light of the principle that the Rebbe himself
taught us that “he ruled concerning himself.” The
lesson is that the Rebbe is with us no less after Gimmel
Tammuz, and yet we must not allow ourselves to come
to terms with this situation. Rather, we must davven to
Hashem and demand to be reunited with the Rebbe in
a fully visible manner; or, as the Rebbe put it at the
conclusion of his first maamar, “May we merit to see
and be together with the [Previous] Rebbe, down here

in a physical body and within our reach, and he will
redeem us.”70
Waiting for our Rosh Chodesh Kislev
After suffering a serious heart attack on Shemini
Atzeres of 5738 (1977), the Rebbe remained in 770
under strict medical care, and chassidim the world
over were very concerned. Miraculously, around five
weeks later, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the Rebbe
recovered to the extent that he was allowed to return
home.
Ever since, chassidim have marked Rosh Chodesh
Kislev as a Chasidic holiday to celebrate with great joy.
But what exactly is the reason for the joy of Rosh
Chodesh Kislev? Is it that the Rebbe recovered?
Although that was definitely a significant part of it, it
can’t be the entire reason, for although the Rebbe left
the office in 770 where he was undergoing medical
treatment, he had not yet fully recovered. Indeed, the
Rebbe never recited the traditional blessing one recites
after recovering from an illness.
Rather, ever since Shemini Atzeres, although the
chassidim hadn’t seen the Rebbe and so were unable to
connect with him directly, they knew that the Rebbe
was still with them. Yet knowing this wasn’t enough;
their greatest yearning was to see the Rebbe again.
And when they did, their joy was so great that of their
70

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

own initiative they decided to celebrate that day every
year, and eat a special meal of thanks to Hashem, both
for granting the Rebbe recovery and for enabling them
to see the Rebbe again.
We can also learn the intense yearning that a chossid
should have to see his Rebbe from the example that the
Rebbe set for us at the conclusion of his first maamar
(and especially according to the principle of “he rules
about himself” explained above) when he wished:
“Ve’nizkeh zehn zich mit’n Reb’n doh lematoh in a guf,
u’lematoh mei’asoroh tefochim, v’hu yigaleinu”—“may
we merit to see the [Previous] Rebbe down here in a
body, and in our immediate reality, and he will redeem
us.”71
In our current situation, we are still waiting for our
own Rosh Chodesh Kislev. We know that the Rebbe is
with us, showering us with blessings, guidance, and
encouragement, now just as before Gimmel Tammuz.
Those who are attuned—not because they possess
divine inspiration, but because they choose to study the
Rebbe’s teachings diligently and devote themselves to
fulfilling the Rebbe’s instructions—sense these
blessings, guidance, and encouragement in their
personal lives. We witness the tremendous expansion
and development of the Rebbe’s work and message
throughout the world, and we are confident that the
71

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

Rebbe is guiding us in our mission to prepare the world
for Moshiach.
Yet we are not satisfied. “Retzoneinu liros es
malkeinu”—“we want to see our king.” And we draw
strength and hope from the miracles that Hashem
showed us then: Just as the Rebbe was hidden, and yet
the chassidim were strong in their faith and trust in
Hashem, and worked hard to make themselves worthy
of seeing the Rebbe again, and were ultimately
successful, so can it be for us, and so will it be for us.
May it happen now!
Imagining the reunion
The Previous Rebbe once exhorted his chassidim: 72
Every person should remind himself of ten minutes
in which he stood before my father [the Rebbe
Rashab], and [consider] the way he is now, and
that he will have to appear before my father [when
Moshiach comes].
We can surely apply this statement to our current
situation, after Gimmel Tammuz. To state the obvious,
one of the main problems that chassidim face in our
time is that we cannot the Rebbe physically. Yes, we
can visit the Rebbe at his holy Ohel and bask in his
physical presence. Yes, we can view pictures and
videos, and with an ease and availability completely not
Sicha of Purim 5689—kudos to
www.pirsumrishon.blogspot.com.
72

possible even a decade ago. Audio of the Rebbe
speaking is also more available than ever before, and
we must surely appreciate and make the most of all
this. Despite it all, at the end of the day, we don’t see
the Rebbe himself with our eyes of flesh.
An partial solution to this problem is to remind
ourselves constantly of the truth that the Rebbe taught
us again and again when discussing the Previous
Rebbe (and especially over the course of the year after
the Previous Rebbe’s histalkus, as explained at length
above) that a Rebbe never abandons his chassidim, and
so we know that the Rebbe also prays for us, blesses
us, guides us, and leads us even now no less than
before. In fact, in a sense he leads us even more than
before, albeit in a hidden fashion.
Yet of course, all this is not enough. When the Rebbe is
hidden from the chossid (due to our many sins), a true
chossid is not be satisfied with relating to the Rebbe in
a hidden way, for this is not the nature of the
relationship of Rebbe and chossid. Rather, the chossid
is filled with an intense desire to be physically reunited
with the Rebbe.
The Rebbe himself set this example for us, by famously
wishing at the conclusion of his very first maamar:
“May we merit to see the [Previous] Rebbe, down here

in a physical body and within our immediate reach, and
he will redeem us.” 73
Moreover, a chossid should view it as his personal
responsibility to achieve this reunion, as the Rebbe
wrote to Reb Avrohom Parizh shortly after the
histalkus of the Previous Rebbe: “Reb Avrohom, we
have to bring the Rebbe back.”74
But imagining, yearning, and praying to see the Rebbe
again, as important as they are, are not enough.
Chassidim are bound to the Rebbe through an intense
love,75 and part of love is a desire to make one’s
beloved happy and to avoid causing him or her pain.
Thus, our desire to be reunited with the Rebbe should
also bring us to teshuvah, so that our behavior
conforms with the Rebbe’s instructions totally, for we
realize that not only is the Rebbe pained now when we
behave inappropriately (for he surely sees the way we
are acting even now), but when, im yirtzeh Hashem we
will at long last be reunited with the Rebbe (and it is
only a matter of time), he will look at us, look through
us, and be reminded of exactly how we acted when he
was hidden.
And we will look back at him.
73

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

74

Igros Kodesh, Vol. 4, p. 156.

75

See section entitled “A love that transcends all” above.

Let’s imagine it, and ask ourselves fearlessly exactly
what kind of response we will deserve, as painful as
that question may be.
This brings us to the stark realization that whether the
Rebbe’s response will be one of joyful pride or painful
disappointment depends upon the way we choose to
act now, in the moments before the reunion. So let’s
act wisely and make sure we don’t, as they say, have
“egg on our faces” when Moshiach comes.
Looking forward to a new maamar
On Yud Shevat, 5710 (1950), the Previous Rebbe
passed away. Based on the Rebbe’s own explanation,
we believe that on a deeper level, the Rebbe succeeded
the Previous Rebbe as soon as Yud Shevat occurred. Of
this the verse says, “The sun sets and the sun rises,” 76
which our sages interpret77 to mean that there is no
gap between the leaders of the Jewish people. The
same principle applies to Rebbeim.78
However, the Rebbe did not yet become Rebbe
officially. On the contrary, despite persistent pleas from
the chassidim over many months, he firmly refused.
Only the next year, at the farbrengen marking the
76

Koheles 1:5.

77

Ibid, Koheles Rabbah.

Cf. Hisva’aduyos 5742, Vol. 2, p. 1089; Likkutei Sichos, Vol.
12, p. 147.
78

anniversary of Yud Shevat, did the Rebbe delivered a
maamar for the first time, and in so doing, officially
accepted the mantle of leadership. But why did doing
so turn him into a Rebbe?
To answer that question, let us ask: What is a maamar?
A maamar is not merely an explanation of Chassidus.
During the delivery of a maamar, a Rebbe enters a
state of deveikus (“intense bonding with Hashem”) to
the extent that G-dliness is revealed within him to the
most pure, sublime, and intense degree possible before
Moshiach comes. Put differently, although the tzadik
always reveals G–dliness, this revelation reaches its
highest point while a maamar is delivered.
In fact, Reb Hillel Paritcher said that at this time, a
Rebbe reaches the level of “The Shechinah speaks
through the throat of Moshe.”79 Reb Hillel Paritcher
also expressed this by saying that when a Rebbe
delivers a maamar, it is like the Giving of the Torah.80
Thus, among many other things, this day represents
the time when chassidim had their desire to experience
the intense divine revelation of hearing Chassidus
satisfied. May we, too, experience that revelation
again, and very soon hear the first post-Moshiach
maamar. It will surely be far beyond anything we have
79

Zohar 3:232a, Sefer HaSichos 5697, p. 165.

80

See Hisva’aduyos 5748, Vol. 1, p. 35.

yet experienced. All our strivings should be geared to
preparing us for that glorious moment.
Ways to bond after Gimmel Tammuz
Writing to the Rebbe
Reb Folle Kahn ‫ ה"ע‬relates:81
One of the famous chassidim of the Rebbe Rashab,
Reb Shmuel Michel Treinin, lived in Petersburg.
Once one of his grandchildren fell ill, and Reb
Shmuel Michel wrote a pan 82to the Rebbe Rashab
and sent it by mail to Lubavitch. He then received
a telegram from the Rebbe Rashab summoning
him to Lubavitch immediately for a particular
reason, so he travelled. When he arrived and came
before the Rebbe Rashab, he told tell him about
the illness of his grandchild, saying that he had
sent a pan to the Rebbe Rashab. He told him this
because he estimated that the pan had not yet
arrived. The Rebbe Rashab said to him, “As soon as
a pan is sent, one is already assisted.”
Writing a pan is in and of itself a way for a chossid to
establish a connection with his Rebbe. Thus, the pan
does not need to be seen to arrive for it to be effective.

81

Shemu’os V’Sipurim, Vol. 1, p. 116.

82

A written request to a Rebbe for a blessing.

As soon as the chossid writes the pan and sends it, the
Rebbe senses it, and the chossid is blessed.
This story is surely relevant to our time, when we
cannot openly see the Rebbe receiving our letters.
Although we can bring these requests to the Ohel, we
might feel that this is less effective than when one
could receive a written response. However, this story
demonstrates that even without the Rebbe physically
receiving the letter, it is fully “registered.” So, too,
nowadays: Even without receiving an open response,
we are confident that the Rebbe has heard our request
and is doing his utmost to intercede with Hashem on
our behalf.
Gazing at the image of the Rebbe
The Gemara relates83 how an image of Nevuchadnetzar
was engraved on Nuvazraden’s chariot as he travelled
to destroy Yerushalayim:
“A servant [honors] his master”:84 [this is
exemplified by Nuvazraden, as it is written:] “In
the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month,
which was the nineteenth year of King
Nevuchadnetzar, king of Babylonia, Nuvazraden,
captain of the executioners, came. He stood before
the king of Babylonia in Yerushalayim, and he
83

Sanhedrin 96b.

84

Malachi 1:6.

burned the House of Hashem and the house of the
king.”85
But had Nevuchadnetzar gone up to Yerushalayim?
Is it not written [of the time of the destruction of
the Beis HaMikdash], “They carried him
[Tzidkiyahu] up unto the King of Babylon to
Rivlah,”86 and R. Abahu said that this [Rivlah] was
[the city of] Antioch?87 [Doesn’t this imply that
Nevuchadnetzar was in the city of Antioch, not in
Yerushalayim?]
R. Chisda and R. Yitzchak b. Avdimi [each offered a
solution]. One answered: His [Nevuchadnetzar’s]
portrait was engraved on his [Nuvazraden’s]
chariot, and the other explained: He [Nuvazraden]
stood in such awe of him [Nevuchadnetzar] that it
is as though he were in his presence.
Rashi there explains the opinion that holds that
Nevuchadnetzar’s portrait was engraved on
Nuvazraden’s chariot:
It seemed to him [Nuvazraden] as if he was
standing before him [Nevuchadnetzar, when he
gazed at his portrait]. Therefore it is written
85

Yirmiyahu 52:12-13.

86

II Melachim 25:6.

87

This is in what is today southern Turkey.

“Nevuchadnetzar came,” for this refers to his glory
[that was manifest to everyone through the image
of him].
Moreover, the Maharsha explains that this also
answers the first verse in that chapter:
“Nevuchadnetzar, king of Babylonia came, he and all
his army, against Yerushalayim, and he encamped next
to it.” When did Nevuchadnetzar come to
Yerushalayim? Rather, since his portrait was present, it
was as if he had gone to Yerushalayim.
What a tremendous impact! Nuvazraden connected
with the evil energy of his master, Nevuchadnetzar, by
regularly gazing at his image, and this imbued him
with so much audacity to commit unadulterated evil
that it was considered as if Nevuchadnetzar was
actually there.
The positive lesson from this is clear, for “Hashem
made this one [the dimension of Kelipah] opposite this
one [the dimension of holiness],”88 meaning that the
realm of evil parallels that of goodness. Moreover,
since “The measure of goodness is greater than the
measure of retribution,”89 this lesson is all the more
applicable in its positive application.

88

Zohar 1:27:2.

89

Rashi, Shemos 34:7.

Nuvazraden was inspired to destroy the Beis
HaMikdash and Yerushalayim because of the
corrupting impact of an unholy image (which is
consistent with our sages’ admonition, “It is forbidden
to gaze at the image of a wicked person”90). How much
more so does gazing at the holy image of a tzadik
imbue inspiration with a Jew, so that one “stands in
such awe of him that it is as though he were in his
presence.”
This is especially relevant for us, chassidim of the
Rebbe—who is adonenu, our master—for we no longer
see the Rebbe physically. However, gazing at his image
from time to time (along with fulfilling all his other
directives, of course) imbues us with strength to
overcome the darkness of the end of the exile, and
witness the coming of Moshiach very soon, when we
will again see the Rebbe physically.
For although gazing at the Rebbe’s image has a
powerful impact, we are not satisfied with this, and we
pray to be able to see the Rebbe physically. As the
Rebbe wished on 10 Shevat, 5711, at the conclusion of
his very first maamar: “May we merit to see and be
together with the [Previous] Rebbe, down here in a
physical body and within our immediate reach, and he
will redeem us.” 91 Based on the concept of “the Rebbe
90

See Megillah 28a; cf. Tanchuma, Toldos 8.

91

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

rules on himself,” as chassidim of the Rebbe, we pray
for the same thing after Gimmel Tammuz.
Audio and video of the Rebbe
Modern audio technology contains tremendous
potential for holiness.
Since one can listen more easily than one can learn
from a text, this technology is particularly useful for
chassidim, who should make a point of regularly
learning our Rebbe’s teachings.
It also enables those who understand Yiddish to listen
to the Rebbe speak directly, without the intermediate
stage of a transcript, which although faithful to the
original, invariably loses much in transcription.
Moreover, audio of the Rebbe’s holy sichos can inspire
the person emotionally in a way not possible through
studying the transcripts (edited or unedited) of his
sichos.
As the Rebbe said many times, “Words that emanate
from the heart will penetrate the heart”92 and have
their desired impact. Chassidus explains93 that this is
referring specifically to spoken words, for since they
are uttered with passion and enthusiasm, they have a
special power to penetrate the heart.
92

Sefer HaYashar of Rabeinu Tam #313.

93

Sefer HaMaamarim 5671, p. 44.

Moreover,94 speech stems from the very essence of the
soul, as it is written, “his soul went forth in his
speech.”95 (Unfortunately, this also holds true in the
negative sense, for the deepest evil traits in a person
are revealed specifically through vile speech.96)
So to apply all this to listening to the Rebbe: Since
emotions are expressed in speech, the Rebbe’s holy
emotions—faith in Hashem, love and fear of Hashem,
love of Torah, love of his fellow Jew, and so on—are
surely expressed in his speech. And since all the
Rebbe’s words surely “emanate from the heart,”
listening to his words surely has a special power to
“penetrate the heart” of the listener. Moreover, since
spoken words stem from the essence of the soul, it
follows that listening to the Rebbe speaking has the
power to connect the listener to the essence of the
Rebbe’s soul.
Using audio technology was always a very important
way to bond with the Rebbe, even before Gimmel
Tammuz, back in the day of cassette tapes. However, it
is even more vital after Gimmel Tammuz, when, due to

See ibid.; Sefer HaMaamarim 5666, p. 493; Toras
Menachem 5713, Vol. 1, p. 254.
94

95

“‫—”בדברו יצאה נפשי‬Shir HaShirim 5:6.

96

See Sefer HaMaamarim 5670 p. 21.

our many sins, we are no longer able to hear the Rebbe
speak physically.
The same can be said, and all the more, with regard to
viewing video footage of the Rebbe. Video vividly
captures past events and enables us to relive them.
Thus, it enables us to see the Rebbe’s facial
expressions and gestures as he speaks. So everything
written earlier about the impact of gazing at the
Rebbe’s image applies all the more to this technology.
Viewing videos of the Rebbe speaking can make the
Rebbe real and present in our lives in a very deeply-felt
way, and transform us. Perhaps the following teaching
of the Previous Rebbe can apply to seeing a video of
the Rebbe: “A gesture of a tzadik, and surely seeing
him and hearing his voice, should make an
unforgettable impact.”97
It is also remarkable that the amount of video now
widely available for every chossid to view in the
privacy of his home is incomparably greater and more
easily and cheaply accessible than before Gimmel
Tammuz.
Of course, hearing the Rebbe’s holy words and seeing
him directly and physically would have the greatest
impact on our feelings. But in the meantime we should
take full advantage of the audio and video technology
devices now available so we can maintain our bond
97

HaYom Yom,14 Teves.

with the Rebbe as much as possible despite his
(temporary) concealment.
This will prepare us for the long-awaited day when we
will hear and see him address us again and reveal to us
the most sweet and sublime secrets of Torah, may it
happen now!
Preparing for Moshiach
In later years, the Rebbe declared many times that our
main mission now is to prepare for the coming of
Moshiach. I think it is therefore fitting to include some
essays on this subject.
Call of the hour: Learn about Moshiach and the
geulah
In Iyar 5751 (1991), the Rebbe delivered an
astonishing sicha in which he called for every Jew to
study topics of Torah related to Moshiach and the
geulah, declaring that this is “the straightest path” to
bring Moshiach:
What is the straight path—the easiest and quickest
method from all of the ways of Torah—that the
Jewish people as a whole should choose, now that
they have finished their [divine] service in order to
accomplish the revelation of Moshiach? ...
Moshiach is about to arrive, but he hasn’t yet
actually arrived. Thus, every single Jew should
invest a final effort to bring Moshiach (not through

pure Malchus [royalty], which is the role of king
Moshiach himself, but rather) through Malchus of
Tiferes [“beauty”]. This refers to the concept of
Moshiach, Malchus, as it is found in Torah, Tiferes.
For as mentioned, through Torah (which
corresponds to the role of Moshiach as a teacher)
one elicits and reveals the lofty lights of the
redemption (which corresponds to the role of
Moshiach as a king) in an internally-felt manner.
Put simply, Tiferes is the idea of Torah study, and
Malchus of Tiferes refers to studying Torah in
areas related to Moshiach and the redemption as
they are explained in numerous sources (it is easy
to find them—through indices, which are plentiful
in this generation, arranged according to the order
of the alef-beis in the appropriate entries:
redemption, Moshiach, and the like):
 the Written Torah, especially “in the words of
the Prophets ... for all of the books [of the
Prophets] are filled with this matter
[discussion of the redemption]”98
 the Oral Torah, and especially in the tractate
of Sanhedrin, and at the end of the tractate of
Sotah (since the redemption will come through
the revelation of the true purpose of the exile,
it fits nicely that the signs of redemption are
discussed at the end of the tractate of Sotah,
98

Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 11:2.

which is connected with the exile), and in
Midrashic sources
 the inner dimension of the Torah, beginning
from the Zohar, of which it is written: “With
this book of the Zohar we will go out from
exile with [divine] mercy”99
 especially the teachings of Chassidic
philosophy, through which “the master will
come—this refers to the king Moshiach” 100 as
found in the teachings of the Rebbes of
Chabad
 especially in the teachings—the Chassidic
discourses and Likkutei Sichos—of the Leader
of our Generation.101
Zohar 3:124b. Cited and explained in Tanya, Iggeres
HaKodesh, Epistle 26.
99

Kesser Shem Tov, #1. The Baal Shem Tov writes in a
famous letter addressed to his brother-in-law, Gershon Kitover,
that he ascended to the chamber of Moshiach, where he asked
him, “When will the master come?” “When the wellsprings of
your teachings are disseminated outward,” Moshiach
responded. The Baal Shem Tov’s teachings are the teachings of
Chassidus.
100

This is clearly a reference to the Rebbe himself, for
although often the Rebbe uses the term “the Leader of our
Generation” to refer to the Previous Rebbe, in this case the
Rebbe refers to Likkutei Sichos, a set of books authored only
by the Rebbe.
101

This is a foretaste and a preparation for the study
of the teachings of Moshiach, of whom it is written,
“A new teaching shall come forth from me.” He will
teach the entire Jewish people the inner dimension
of the Torah, the deeper mystical reasons for the
Torah, thereby bringing them to know G–dliness
[and fulfilling the exhortation] “Know the G–d of
your father.”102 As Rambam rules: “In that time ...
the Jewish people will be great sages and know
hidden things and comprehend their creator ... ”103
This increase in Torah study in topics related to
Moshiach and the redemption is the straight path
to accomplish the revelation and arrival of
Moshiach and the redemption in actuality.
My intent is a call to action, and surely people will
encourage and publicize this everywhere:
In order to accomplish the immediate revelation
and arrival of Moshiach, every single Jew—men
(both Torah scholars and businessmen), women,
and children, each one on his level—should
increase in Torah study in topics related to
Moshiach and the redemption in particular.
It would be even better if this study would be held
in public, with [at least] ten people participating.
102

Divrei HaYamim I 28:9.

103

Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 12:8.

For in addition to the greatness of “ten [Jews] who
sit and occupy themselves with the Torah, the
Divine Presence rests in their midst,”104 there is an
extra advantage when topics related to Moshiach
and the redemption are studied in public in terms
of the excitement and joy that one feels in the
heart, for in this way one’s yearning and
anticipation for the coming of Moshiach becomes
steadily more strong.
Thus, even those who wish to study in depth, and
with scholarly debates (and even formulate
novelties in Torah in topics related to Moshiach
and the redemption), with calmness and careful
deliberation through learning on their own, or with
a study partner, should strive (from time to time)
to take part in the study in which ten people take
part, so that they will also attain the special quality
of Torah study among ten Jews.
The Moshiach paradox: Preparing and praying
The faith in Moshiach contains a fundamental paradox:
When105 Reb Itche Der Masmid would speak of the
imminent arrival of Moshiach, he would say, “If
only I had another fifteen years to prepare!” In
Avos 3:6. Cf. Igeres HaKodesh end sec. 23. Hisva’aduyos
5751, Vol. 3, p. 160, 163-164.
104

105

Yiras Hashem Otzaro, p. 144.

other words, although he was confident that
Moshiach would come immediately, since he felt
that he wasn’t truly ready, he wished that he could
have more time to prepare.
Chassidus Chabad teaches that everything a Jew does
should be done in a way of pnimiyus, “inwardness,”
i.e., he is fully prepared and engaged with all his
energies. Thus, a chossid yearns for his every action to
be done in a way of pnimiyus, and if it is not, he feels
pained. So when he thinks of the coming of Moshiach,
a part of him may legitimately desire that Moshiach’s
coming be delayed so that he can prepare himself
further.
However, at the same time, he prays sincerely for
Moshiach to come immediately because he senses the
pain of the Shechinah and the Jewish people in exile.
He yearns for the end of the concealment of G–dliness
that exile brings, and for Hashem to be revealed in all
His glory.
He also yearns to serve Hashem in the fullest manner
possible—“According to the Mitzvah of Your will”106—
for only when Moshiach comes will we be able to
perform all the Mitzvos in the proper manner, and he
yearns for the entire Jewish people to be able to serve
Hashem in this way.

106

Mussaf liturgy.

Moreover, now that the Rebbe has declared that “The
time of your redemption has arrived!” and that “Ot, ot,
kumt Moshiach! (Moshiach is coming very soon)!” he
believes that Moshiach’s arrival is imminent.
These considerations override the personal wish that
the exile be lengthened so that one can prepare more
fully for Moshiach’s arrival. The chossid willingly
forgoes personal perfection for the sake of these
infinitely greater concerns, and cries out “ad mosai—
how long?!” Enough of the exile; Hashem, have mercy
on us, and send Moshiach now!
These conflicting emotions107 inspire one with the
intense desire to utilize every single remaining moment
of the exile to prepare as much as possible for the
coming of Moshiach, while simultaneously pleading
that he come immediately—even if that means that
Moshiach will arrive long before one has finished one’s
personal preparation.
Moshiach: A cheshbon nefesh
A Jew should regularly make a cheshbon nefesh, a
personal reckoning of whether he is living up to the
standard of behavior expected of him (albeit only at
specifically designated times108). Since many of the
This is also a form of the ratzo and shov dynamic. See the
explanation of the concept of ratzo and shov in the section
above entitled “Passionate yearning, determined action.”
107

108

Cf. Tanya, ch. 26.

Rebbe’s most recent and frequently repeated directives
were related to the belief in the coming of Moshiach,
the effort to hasten and prepare for his arrival, and so
on, I have compiled below a list of insights and related
questions to ask oneself in the process of such a
cheshbon nefesh:
 One who is constantly, fully aware and infused with
the passionate conviction that these are indeed
literally our last moments in exile will be confident
that today is the day, the long-awaited blessed day
in which Moshiach will finally come, in which the
entire world will reach the purpose for which it
was created.
Do I constantly feel that today is the day?
 Only Hashem can decide to send Moshiach.
Moshiach is waiting for Hashem to give him the
go-ahead. Hashem, the King of all kings, blessed
be He, grants me a private audience with Him
every day—in fact, thrice daily—during which I am
granted the opportunity to plead for my every
wish.
Is the coming of Moshiach today on my personal
wish list?
 Nowadays we live in a state of spiritual darkness
and thick concealment of the absolute Truth that

“there is nothing besides Him.”109 However, when
Moshiach comes we will perceive the absolute
truth of Hashem’s reality in a tangible manner.
One of the main purposes of prayer is to foster a
desire to behold Hashem’s glory and to create a
framework in which to express that desire toward
Hashem.
Do I pray slowly, carefully, savoring every word,
pouring out my heart to Hashem, crying out for
the exile to end, with intense yearning to see His
revelation when Moshiach comes?
 In order to be truly ready for Moshiach, I must
bring my thought, speech, and action to conform
totally with Torah.110
Am I careful with my every thought, speech, and
action?
 Right before the holy day of Shabbos, activity
intensifies to prepare the home for Shabbos, often
at a frantic pace. We are conscious that soon no
more preparation will be possible. Likewise, the
age of Moshiach is compared to Shabbos, and our
current age was granted in order to enable us to
prepare for the age of Moshiach, an opportunity
109

Devarim 4:35.

110

Sefer HaSichos 5751, Pinchas.

that we will no longer have once Moshiach
arrives.111
Is the pace of my preparation intensifying? Do I
sense the value of the time allocated to me in
order to prepare?
 The Rebbe has taught us that in order to prepare
for Moshiach, we must do various things, e.g.,
bring not-yet-observant Jews to undertake the
performance of Mitzvos, study topics in Torah
related to Moshiach and the redemption, and teach
non-Jews to follow the Noahide laws. The Rebbe
has instructed us to increase in tzedakah and good
deeds, in study and dissemination of Chassidus, in
acts of love toward our fellow Jew, and issued
many more directives, all with the goal of
preparing us for the coming of Moshiach.
Am I careful to do the things that are auspicious in
bringing Moshiach?

111

Cf. HaYom Yom, 3 Av.

The Rebbe prepares chassidim
In the years leading up to Gimmel Tammuz, many
crucial events and dramatic changes occurred. In
hindsight, it can be seen that in various ways, the
Rebbe was preparing chassidim for the scenario of
Gimmel Tammuz. However, by far the most striking
preparation took place in the sicha of 28 Nissan, 5751.
Due to the importance of this sicha, I have written
three essays below about it.
The Rebbe pours out his heart
If there was any sicha that presaged our current
situation after 27 Adar and Gimmel Tammuz, it was
that of 28 Nissan, 5751. In this sicha the Rebbe
declared: “I have done everything I can [to bring
Moshiach]; I hand it over to you—do everything that
you can.”
Below is my free adaptation of the sicha.
My dear chassidim, I’m frustrated.
For all these years I devoted myself totally to teach
you and guide you to live a life in which Hashem,
Torah and Mitzvos, Chassidus, and Moshiach, are
real. Yet I feel that despite my giving it my all, you
aren’t truly interested in all these sublime
teachings, in these precious treasures that I’ve
been revealing.

After the countless maamorim and sichos I
delivered and edited, the igros I wrote, the many
hours I poured out my heart in prayer at my fatherin-law’s holy gravesite, and the sea of maamarim
of Chassidus from all the Rebbeim that no previous
generation merited that I had self-sacrifice to
publish, you’re still not changing! You’re still
allowing yourselves to remain confined in your
self-imposed box, in your comfort zone. Why aren’t
you going out of your limitations?! You’re still
living a life that revolves primarily around
satisfying your physical needs and desires, in
which the spiritual is of secondary importance.
My dear chassidim, in terms of the grand scale,
Moshiach is so palpably close. Hashem wants to
send Moshiach, and Moshiach wants to come. If
you would only want him sincerely, he would have
already come! He’s waiting until you want him
deeply, to the point at which you can’t hold it in
anymore, and you cry out in pain to Hashem, “How
long must we be deprived of the geulah?! We beg
of You, enough! Please send Moshiach now!”
But how can you reach this feeling in these dark
times? You need to change your inner selves and
not just your external actions. Work hard on
yourselves so that the Chassidus that you learn fills
you with an intense love and fear of Hashem and
thus a yearning for the ultimate revelation of

Hashem in the final geulah. These teachings are
not supposed to be transcribed and left to sit on a
shelf, or even memorized. They are meant to be
used, to be applied in a way that they change each
and every person on their level, and bring them to
be truly inspired in serving Hashem. Believe me, it
can be done! In fact, that’s really what these
teachings are for! I’ve said this so many times.
It’s not that you don’t follow my instructions. You
often do. But that’s not enough, and that’s not my
ultimate goal. My ultimate goal is that fulfilling
these instructions should change you deep-down.
It devastates me to see how your hearts are not
truly in it. You nod your heads, clap along, and
shout out amein, but that’s only while I’m egging
you on. In private, do you reflect on these
teachings? And even if you do, do you do it
because you want to, or because you think that
you’re somehow doing me a favor? You’re relying
on me to boost you from above, to hold your hand,
to do the hard work for you. You lack a desire to
change on the inside, through your own efforts.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to
solve this problem is by explicitly making it your
job to bring Moshiach. Then you won’t think that
you can just leave it all to me.
So I’m making it very clear: My main task in order
to bring Moshiach is complete; I did everything I

could. From now on, it’s your job to do everything
that you can to bring him. And don’t give up until
he actually comes!
It’s not necessary to change the entire world.
Change yourselves. It doesn’t need to be a lot of
people who accomplish this inner change. If even a
handful of chassidim meet together and resolve
that they must finally bring Moshiach, and discuss
ways to accomplish it in a down-to-earth manner,
but without compromising the purity of the
mission, they will indeed succeed at bringing the
final redemption in actual reality. May it happen
immediately!
Do everything you can to bring Moshiach in
actuality
On 28 Nissan 5751 (1991), the Rebbe gave us a holy
mission, “Do everything you can to bring Moshiach in
actuality.”
Let’s analyze this:
“Do”: Focus on action, which is “the main thing,”112 as
the Rebbe has said countless times.
“Everything”: What?! Everything? That seems
somewhat ... undefined. And even unattainable. But
perhaps it means as follows. The Torah tells a Jew to

112

Avos 1:17.

love Hashem “be’chol me’odecho”113 (usually translated
as “with all your might”). Chassidus translates this as
“with all your me’od.”114 “Me’od” means literally “very
much.” To love Hashem properly, one must constantly
go beyond one’s limitations. But personal limitations
are inherently relative. What is difficult for one person
comes easily for another, and vice versa. So “with all
your me’od” means to push yourself to transcend your
personal limitations in your devotion to Hashem.
Likewise, “Do everything you can to bring Moshiach
means: Push yourself beyond your normal limits, and
then do it again. Until he comes.
“You”: That’s right, lil’ ol’ you. And me. Every
individual Jew can bring Moshiach, regardless of
position or social standing. Even a small child.
“Can”: Every of us can do different things, for we were
all endowed with different skills and put in different
spheres of influence. Assess whether you are using
your time and talents to maximum effectiveness.
“To bring Moshiach”: Our efforts have a goal, and we
must not lose sight of it. The goal is, as the Rebbe
would often paraphrase from the Mishnah,115 “to bring
the days of Moshiach”—for Moshiach actually come
113

Devarim 6:5.

114

Torah Ohr 39d, Shoresh Mitzvas HaTefillah ch. 16.

115

Berachos 1:5.

and bring the full redemption. This goal must propel us
to action and continue to inspire us even as we concern
ourselves with the nitty-gritty of carrying out the task
at hand.
“In actuality”: Our part is to do and do and do.
Whether we accomplish, and Moshiach actually comes,
is totally in Hashem’s hands. But until then, we cannot
rest. Conversely, although it hasn’t happened yet, we
have been told that it’s in our hands; our efforts have a
powerful impact. Ultimately, we can make it a reality.
This knowledge makes us responsible and accountable.
It propels us to transcend our own petty concerns, to
reject our personal preferences and desires, and to
embrace this noble cause. For if we are wise, we will
live our entire lives conscious that our every action
could be the final one, the one that will transform the
entire physical and spiritual cosmos and make the
redemption a reality.
The Rebbe wants real chassidim, not yes-men
In the famous public address of 28th of Nissan, 5751,
among other things, the Rebbe complained bitterly that
the chassidim do not pray for Moshiach to come “mit
an emes”—really and truly, but only “mipnei
ha’tzivui”—because they were told to do so—i.e.,
because the Rebbe told them so. They don’t sincerely
yearn for Moshiach, for if they would, he would have
come long ago, the Rebbe said.

It’s not enough that the Rebbe wants Moshiach. He
wants us to want Moshiach. Really and truly. Which
requires hard, intensive work. It’s not enough to
answer amen, to nod our heads, to repeat slogans, to
be “yes-men,” but not to connect to the Rebbe’s words
in our minds and hearts. That’s not what a chossid is.
We have to mean it, to care, to be bothered, to be
distressed. From the depth of our hearts.
And if, G–d forbid, we don’t feel this way, we should
recognize that something is sorely lacking in our bond,
in our relationship, in our identity as chassidim. And
that itself should bother us.
Then we’ll make it our business to figure out what
Hashem is, what geulah is, what Moshiach is, until we
want it because we want it. Because “the Shechinah
(divine presence) is in exile.”116 Because a Jew has a
special soul that it is “literally a part of Hashem”117 in
exile. Because the spark of holiness, the divine vitality,
in every object that exists is hidden, and thus in exile.
And then we’ll truly feel the Rebbe’s pain at the
suffering of the Jewish people in exile. And then we will
be what chassidim are supposed to be. And then
Moshiach will surely come, G–d willing.

116

Cf. Tikunei Zohar 22a, Shaar HaGilgulim ch. 2.

117

Tanya, beg. ch. 2.

27 Adar: Now it’s our job
On 27 Adar I, 5752 (March 2, 1992), the Rebbe
suffered a stroke on his right side, Rachmana litzlan,
while at the Ohel. On the same day two years later—
which was, of course, an open display of Divine
Providence—the Rebbe suffered another stroke, this
time on the left side of his holy body, after which he
lost consciousness.
After 27 Adar, everything changed. The Rebbe stopped
coming down to davven in shul, and farbrengens also
stopped completely (except for 16 Tishrei 5753, when
the Rebbe came down to a farbrengen in the big shul).
After a while the Rebbe began to come out, but not on
his regular dais. Instead, a special balcony was built on
the west side of 770 for this purpose.
The biggest change during this period was that
although from time to time the chassidim were able to
see the Rebbe, they were not able to hear him.
Many of the sichos in the years before 27 Adar contain
clear hints of guidance for chassidim concerning the
periods after 27 Adar and Gimmel Tammuz. What to do
about not hearing the Rebbe was also forewarned. In
the sicha of the Torah portion of Bo,118 shortly before
27 Adar, the Rebbe clearly alluded to the possibility of
such a scenario and prepared the chassidim to deal
with it:
118

Hisva’aduyos 5752, Vol. 2, pp. 146-147, 150.

Even during his lifetime, the [Previous] Rebbe
suffered physically, and this adversely affected his
spiritual affairs. This includes the fact that in his
last years he was in a condition of “a heavy mouth
and a heavy tongue,”119 similar to what is written
of Moshe Rabenu. This [adversely] affected the
manner in which he said Chassidus and
disseminated Torah, Judaism, and the wellsprings
[of Chassidus] outward.
In fact, the doctor (who was a professor, which is
more than a regular doctor) even asked him: “How
come your suffering had to express itself in your
faculty of speech, such that you are not able to
carry out your mission in this world as you would
wish?! The [Previous] Rebbe is the one who is so
devoted to spreading Torah and Judaism and the
wellsprings [of Chassidus] outward. Hashem
should have allowed him the full ability to carry
this out to the maximum extent, by allowing him
maximum control over his faculty of speech, for
speech is the primary way to spread Torah and
Judaism (by delivering Chassidic discourses,
issuing directives, and so on). On the contrary:
since he is so devoted to this work, he should have
been granted even greater strengths than other
people!

119

Shemos 4:10.

“If so,” asked the doctor, “how is it possible that
despite all this, we see the opposite?” ...
This is not just a logical question of a doctor—why
is the Leader of the Generation unable to fulfill his
mission as he would wish—but also a question
according to Torah. This is evident from Moshe’s
complaint to Hashem: “I have a heavy mouth and a
heavy tongue” ... “I am clumsy of lips”120 and
therefore [Moshe said to Hashem]: “Please send in
the hand of the one whom You will send” [i.e.,
Moshiach]. 121 To this Hashem immediately
responded, “I will be with your mouth”; He did not
suffice with this, and added: “Aharon your
brother ... will be a mouth for you,” for Aharon
brought out Moshe’s words in actual physical
speech.
It may be said that the fact that my revered fatherin-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, suffered similarly,
was similar to what occurred to Moshe in his
generation. Since the refinement had not yet been
completed, and therefore “the speech was in exile”
(and Moshe himself transcended the revelation in
speech), therefore Hashem did not heal him, but
performed a miracle such that “I will be with your
mouth” and “your words will be ready.”
120

Ibid. 6:12.

121

See sicha of Chayei Sara 5752.

The rectification and fulfillment of this is
accomplished in the most complete matter—with
the strength endowed by the [Previous] Rebbe—
through the souls in bodies, healthy souls in
healthy bodies, in this generation, the ninth
generation [from the Baal Shem Tov]. We have the
power to accomplish the task of “Aharon your
brother ... will be a mouth for you,” through
concrete verbal expression (such that “the sound is
heard in Pharaoh’s house”122), and in an abundant
measure, the words of Torah and instructions, and
so on, of the [Previous] Rebbe. ...
It should be emphasized that everyone should
undertake that his study of the teachings of the
[Previous] Rebbe should also complete and fill up
what was lacking in the dissemination of the
wellsprings [of Chassidus] due to the [Previous]
Rebbe’s speech impairment, [and this ought to be
accomplished] both through one’s own verbal
study, and through disseminating the wellsprings
outward, to others.
At the time this sicha surely sent chills down the spines
of the chassidim, for many sensed (as it turned out,
correctly) that the Rebbe was presaging unpleasant
future events. Unfortunately, this was what indeed
occurred on 27 Adar: the Rebbe’s faculty of speech
went into exile.
122

Bereishis 45:16.

The lesson for us now, especially after Gimmel
Tammuz, is obvious (especially based on the principle
of “he ruled concerning himself” discussed above): For
the moment, since we don’t hear the Rebbe’s voice
physically, it is our responsibility to make up for that
absence by intensifying our study of his teachings, and
“in great abundance,” and by teaching them to others.
“And He Will Redeem us”: The Rebbe responds
On 10 Shevat, 5711, at the conclusion of the Rebbe’s
very first maamar, he declared, “May we merit to see
and be together with the [Previous] Rebbe, down here
in a physical body and within our immediate reach, and
he will redeem us.” 123
Several days later, on 13 Shevat, the first Shabbos
after that maamar was delivered, the Rebbe publicly
responded to a question he had been asked concerning
this statement.124 It should be noted that this response
was later published in Likkutei Sichos: 125
I was asked concerning my statement that soon the
prophecy that “those who lie in the dust will
123

Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 10.

Cf. Toras Menachem, Vol. 1, p. 100, where the Rebbe
essentially said this same idea many months earlier, on the
Shavuos before he became Rebbe.
124

125

Vol. 2, pp. 517-518.

awaken and sing”126 will be fulfilled, and he—the
[Previous] Rebbe, my father-in-law—will be among
them, and he, the [Previous] Rebbe, will take us
out of exile.
[I was asked:] Isn’t the order of events—as is also
referenced in the teachings of Chassidus—that
first Moshiach will arrive, then the Messianic Age
will commence, and only after a period of time will
the dead be resurrected?
The answer to this is that indeed, in general the
correct order of events will be: The coming of
Moshiach, the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash,
the ingathering of the exiles, and the resurrection.
However, the resurrection of individuals has
occurred and will occur even beforehand [i.e., even
before the coming of Moshiach]. There are several
famous stories in the Gemara and in Medrash [of
individuals who came back to life] and [stories] of
tzadikim who resurrected the dead, as our sages
say, that “[Even] the smallest amongst you can
resurrect the dead.”127
In my own words: Someone asked the Rebbe how he
could wish for the Previous Rebbe to come back to life
as Moshiach. How can Moshiach come from the dead,
126

Yeshayahu 26:19.

127

Avodah Zarah 10b.

if the resurrection will not take place until a while after
Moshiach comes?
The Rebbe answered that this is only true of the mass
resurrection; however, since individuals can be (and
have been) resurrected before Moshiach comes,
Moshiach can come from one who was resurrected in
the time of exile. Thus, the Rebbe’s wish that the
Previous Rebbe will redeem us does not contradict the
belief in a general resurrection that takes place only at
some later point.
I find it noteworthy that the Rebbe chooses not to
prove the concept that Moshiach can come from the
dead from the statement of the Gemara in Sanhedrin
98b, which some have quoted as proof that Moshiach
can come from the dead: “Rav said ‘If he [Moshiach] is
from the living, [then he is] like Rabbeinu Hakadosh
[Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi]; if he is from the dead, [then he
is] like Daniel, the delightful one.’” Rashi comments
there that this does not necessarily refer to Daniel
himself, but that it could refer to someone who
resembles Daniel in his righteousness, and the Gemara
is saying that that righteous man might return from the
dead as Moshiach. Why the Rebbe did not cite that
reference here, I do not know.
I also find noteworthy the words “and will occur,”
which to me appear to allude to and presage our
current situation.

In any case, according to the principle that the Rebbe
taught us that “the Rebbe rules on himself,” this sicha
appears to provide support for the belief of chassidim,
based on the Rebbe’s own words, that the Rebbe will
come back to life “and he will redeem us”—he will be
revealed as Moshiach and redeem the Jewish people.
“The Rebbe forewarned us”
Some people ask: Since the Rebbe surely knew that
Gimmel Tammuz was coming, why didn’t he issue
guidance specific, explicit guidance from the Rebbe on
how to approach the situation after his Gimmel
Tammuz?
One answer to this is that the Rebbe did indeed give us
advance guidance, but we must delve into his
teachings to learn it. Shortly after Yud Shevat, the
Rebbe declared about the Previous Rebbe:
In the last hemshech 128 that the [Previous] Rebbe
wrote, he forewarned everything and hinted to
everything.129
Why did this instruction have to be conveyed in a
hidden fashion? The following sicha, 130 also from the
period immediately after Yud Shevat, explains:
128

A series of maamarim.

129

Ibid., p. 20.

130

Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, pp. 148-150.

As discussed earlier,131 in the recent period the
[Previous] Rebbe, my father-in-law, issued
numerous instructions and forewarned many areas
related to what behavior is appropriate in the later
period [i.e., after Yud Shevat].
In the sicha of 13 Tammuz of last year132 the
[Previous] Rebbe, my father-in-law, said:
Every chossid should recite a chapter of
Tehillim [Psalms] daily in order that the merit
of the Rebbeim should be drawn to them, and
that they absorb the revelation of light [i.e.,
the spiritual revelation manifest via the
Rebbeim] in an internal manner.
It may be asked: The flow of blessing from the
Rebbeim has existed since the time of the Baal
Shem Tov, yet the instruction to recite a chapter of
Tehillim in order to elicit the merit of the Rebbeim
and to internalize the light that they reveal in an
internal manner was not issued until 12 Tammuz,
5709 [1949]!
Rather, the deeper intent of this was that every
chossid should continue to recite the chapter of
the Rebbe in according with his age.133
131

Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, pp. 120ff, 129ff.

132

Sefer HaMaamarim 5710 p. 263 ff.

Some chassidim who would recite the Rebbe’s
chapter of Tehillim (chapter seventy [according to
the Previous Rebbe’s age]), began to doubt after
10 Shevat whether to continue doing so. Now, after
12 Tammuz [the Previous Rebbe’s birthday], they
are unsure whether to continue reciting chapter
seventy, or to begin reciting chapter seventy-one.
I.e., they are not sure whether after the histalkus
growth in age is possible.
The [Previous] Rebbe clarified this in advance by
declaring on the last 13 Tammuz of his life in this
world that every single chossid should recite a
chapter of Tehillim daily, the chapter of the Rebbe,
for through this the merit of the Rebbe will be
drawn to him, and he will absorb the revelation of
light internally.
The [Previous] Rebbe issued this directive on 13
Tammuz of last year, but at the time not everyone
knew of it. Only a handful of individuals possessed
a transcript of the address, while the masses did
not know of it. However, now it has been printed
and publicized to all.
When the Rebbe, my father in law, said things that
were intended to forewarn and provide guidance
concerning the time after his passing, they were
133

53.

See Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 1, p. 31; Vol. 10, p.

not said explicitly. The reason for this is, as it is
written of Moshe, “in my entire house he is
trusted.”134 This trust is explained in the holy
books.135 How can one speak of trust, when it is not
possible to take anything? This trust is expressed
in the fact that one does not reveal everything that
one sees.
There is a story of the Maggid [of Mezeritch] ...
that once one of his students entered to part with
him before travelling home, and the Maggid told
the Holy Society [i.e., his other students] to
prevent him from travelling. They tried to stop
him, and when they did not succeed, they told him
that this was in fact an instruction of the Maggid
himself. The chossid could not believe this, since
the Maggid himself had parted with him. So he
went to part with him again. The Maggid bade him
farewell again, and when he left, he berated them
as a chossid can, saying, “Don’t you see that the
Maggid bade me farewell again?!” Then the
Maggid returned and told the Holy Society again
to stop the student from leaving. He went to the
Maggid again to part with him, and they tried to
stop him again, and this recurred several times.
Finally he did not listen to them, and left, and
134

Shemos 12:7.

135

Maamarei Admur HaZakein—Es’halech Liozna, p. 1.

when he arrived home, he had passed away. They
went to the Maggid and asked him: If he knew,
why didn’t he tell him explicitly not to travel? The
answer was that “in my entire house he is
trusted”—not everything may be revealed.136
So the Previous Rebbe issued directives in a hidden
manner concerning the period after his histalkus. The
reason that he did not do so explicitly is that he was
not given permission to do so from Above.
Lessons:
1. Again, according to the principle of “he rules upon
himself,” just as the Previous Rebbe issued
directives relevant to the period after his own
passing, albeit in the form of hints, so did the
Rebbe surely provide guidance to the chassidim in
his sichos [talks] and maamarim [Chassidic
discourses], especially those in the years leading
up to Gimmel Tammuz. “Toil and you will find!”137
2. Since everything we learn is by Divine Providence,
and the Rebbe guides us and communicates with
us after Gimmel Tammuz through his teachings,
we should pay special attention to the particular
sichos and maamarim that we are privileged to
learn, because they are certainly very relevant to
136

Cf. Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, p. 81.

137

Megillah 6b.

our personal situation, and that is why Hashem
arranged circumstances such that we would come
to learn them.
The Rebbe’s public will
On138 Motza’ei Shabbos Terumah 5748 (20 February
1988), ten days after the passing of the Rebbetzin
Chaya Mushka, of blessed memory, the Rebbe shocked
the chassidim by delivering a sicha that clearly
referred to his passing as a possible scenario, and that
prescribed clear instructions concerning how to act in
that event. Thus, the Rebbe in effect delivered a public
will.139
The sicha refers to the Talmudic expression, “Come, let
us consider an accounting of the world.”140 The Gemara
explains this to mean that one should consider “a
Mitzvah’s loss against its gain, and a sin’s gain against
its loss ... and if you do so, you will be built up in this
world and established in the World to Come.” This is a
reminder of the importance of calculating one’s actions
carefully in anticipation of their consequences after
one passes away. Thus, the expression “Come, let us
The section below is based on Binyamin Lipkin’s
Cheshbono Shel Olam, Machon HaSefer, 5760, pp. 45-48.
138

The full version of this sicha was printed in Vol. 624 of the
Kfar Chabad magazine several weeks after Gimmel Tammuz.
139

140

Bava Basra 78b.

consider an accounting of the world” indicates
considering the scenario of departure from this world
to the World to Come.
The Rebbe related a story of the Tzemach Tzedek that
borrows this expression to refer euphemistically but
unambiguously to a calculation of what to do in
preparation for the histalkus of a Rebbe.
This story had never before been printed, and this was
the first time that the Rebbe told it in public. The story
was not told in full in the sicha, but the author of
Cheshbono Shel Olam relates that in an unpublished
manuscript it is written as follows:
In the period before his passing, the Tzemach
Tzedek would learn regularly with his son, the
Rebbe Maharash, and his grandson, Rabbi Shneur
Zalman of Kapust (who was similar in age to his
uncle, who was the youngest son of the Tzemach
Tzedek). Every time they would learn (apparently
towards the end of their studies), the Tzemach
Tzedek would repeat the Midrashic statement:
“Although Yosef and his brothers died, their G–d
did not die.”141 At the time the Rebbe Maharash
would not respond, but when he went home, he
would weep profusely. The Tzemach Tzedek would
also say to them, “Come, let us consider an
accounting of the world” (i.e., what will be after
141

Shemos Rabba 81:8.

120 years). Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Kapust would
ask, “Indeed, what will be?” causing the Rebbe
Maharash to become upset at him.
The Rebbe commented on this story, saying that the
fact that it reached him indicates that there must be a
lesson to be derived:
On that occasion I was surprised. Why was this
told to me? Especially since this involved a lack of
honor toward the one who said this before the
Tzemach Tzedek. However, this implies that this
too is related to the concept of “the living shall
take to heart.”142
To preface, after the Tzemach Tzedek discussed
“come, let us consider ... ” he lived for many good
years, in which his role as leader was widely
spread, as were the wellsprings [of Chassidic
philosophy], along with all the famous areas of his
holy work, to the point that it reached non-Jews. ...
Likewise, we saw that other Rebbeim of Chabad
also followed the practice of “Come, let us
consider an accounting of the world,” and this
brought them a long, good life in the literal sense.
So, too, in our case. Since this story was told to us,
this demonstrates that “the living shall take to
heart” in this area as well. ...
Koheles 7:2. In the year after the passing of the Rebbetzin,
the Rebbe would often mention this verse in his sichos.
142

On account of the length [of the amount spoken]
the listeners may miss the main point. Thus, I
repeat it: There is the concept of “Come, let us
consider an accounting of the world,” the
reckoning of a person. [This means calculating]
whether it [the position of leadership] needs to be
transferred, or when it needs to be transferred, or
it may remain in both ways, along the lines of what
we find concerning Moshe Rabenu, that while he
was still alive, even before the Torah was given,
when “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai, he
charged his student Yehoshua bin Nun: “Go out
and fight against Amalek.”143
... The answer is thus clear: [When questions arise]
one should consult with three chassidishe rabonim
[i.e., Chabad rabbis who are trained halachic
authorities], whether through one of them [who
will then discuss it with another two], or with all
three at the same time, and the greatest of them,
or all three together, will deliver the verdict.
In other words, this is in addition to what has been
discussed recently concerning the imperative to
fulfill the instruction of the Mishnah, “Make for
yourself a teacher,”144 and in matters related to
healing, to consult with doctors, according to the
143

Shemos 17:9.

144

Avos 1:6.

statement of our sages on the verse, “And he will
surely heal”145 [“From here we see that a healer is
given permission to heal”146]. These directives are
not related to “Come, let us consider an
accounting of the world.” Still, this applies in a
similar manner, and with even greater intensity,
concerning “Come, let us consider an accounting
of the world”: the answer is clear, in a way that
leaves no room for doubt, that this is the province
of three chassidishe rabonim.
This applies to several villages and cities, and in
every single place there is a committee of the
chassidishe rabonim of that place—whether for
that city, for that neighborhood, or for the entire
country—which are all legitimate practices.147
Wherever there are three chassidishe rabonim,
they are themselves the Beis Din. In a location that
has less than three, they can combine rabbis from
elsewhere, similar to what is written even
concerning the Great Sanhedrin. This task is being
assigned to the minds of these people, and they
accept the task, the mission, and the strength that
is granted them, to deliver the above ruling in their
145

Shemos 21:18.

146

Bava Basra 85b.

147

In the original, “‫נהרא נהרא ופשטיה‬.” Cf. Mishnah Berurah 423:6.

respective locations, and with joy and gladness of
heart. ...
As mentioned, this is being said in a clear manner,
one that leaves no room for any doubt, even a
doubt from the aspect of holiness. There is not
even a possibility to inquire about this matter
again. This has already been transferred, and it is
as if the decision in this matter has already been
made.
Let this be a clear demonstration of how one
should behave for a long, good life, and there will
be no room for any confusion. If anyone has
further questions on the matter, whatever they
may be, in these matters, the answer is already
prepared by the chassidishe rabonim, in the role of
a Beis Din.
So to sum up, in the event of the Rebbe’s histalkus, the
Rebbe made clear in advance that when important
questions arise of the kind that people would have
normally asked the Rebbe, they should instead consult
with three local chassidishe rabonim.
It should be pointed out that here it seems to be
referring to issues of a more large-scale, communal
nature, because the Rebbe specifically says that this
directive comes in addition to the existing instructions
to “Make for yourself a teacher,” and in matters of
health to consult with doctors who are friends, and so

on, which are means of resolving questions of an
individual.
In my experience, this sicha is widely unknown even
among Chabad chassidim. I have almost never heard
anyone speak about it, in private or in public, and
those whom I told about it expressed amazement. In
my humble opinion this is the most significant sicha for
chassidim in our current situation, for it shows how the
Rebbe clearly foresaw our situation, and prepared us
for it. This makes it of the utmost practical importance
to the Chabad community, and it should therefore be
widely publicized.
Crushing concealment
As discussed, on Motzo’ei Shabbos Terumah, 5748, the
Rebbe clearly stated what chassidim should do after
his histalkus: Turn to local Chabad rabonim for
leadership and guidance. The Rebbe had also alluded
to a possibility of turning to rabonim for leadership
even during his lifetime (see the sicha: “or it may
remain in both ways, etc.”)—which clearly presaged
the situation after the Rebbe’s first stroke on 27 Adar.
After the sicha, the Rebbe immediately began
distributing dollars to be given to charity. Rabbi
Yehuda Kalman Marlow (of blessed memory), who was
then a member of the Crown Heights Beis Din, passed
by the Rebbe to receive a dollar, and referred to the
beginning of the Torah portion of the week to come,
saying: “It is written ‘ve’atah tetzaveh es bnei

Yisrael’—‘you [i.e. Moshe Rabenu] should command the
Jewish people”148 and everyone knows to whom ‘you’
refers.”
Rabbi Marlow’s intention was clear: He wanted to
bless the Rebbe, the Moshe Rabenu of the generation,
that there be no histalkus—in which case the rabonim
would be charged with the role of practically leading
the chassidim, as the Rebbe had said—nor should it be
shared with the rabonim. Rather, the Rebbe alone
should lead the chassidim.
The Rebbe responded to Rabbi Marlow, “May it not be
in a way of ‘kosis’ [“crushed,” a reference to the
continuation of that verse].” To this Rabbi Marlow
responded, “May [the Rebbe] have long life [arichus
yomim ve’shonim tovos].” “Amen,” the Rebbe
responded.
I wish to suggest the following explanation for this
response. Even after 27 Adar, and after Gimmel
Tammuz, the Rebbe is still leading us. The rabonim are
merely an intermediary through which the Rebbe’s
leadership is practically administered, for they are the
Rebbe’s agents, and “one’s agent is the legal
equivalent of oneself.”149 However, when Gimmel
Tammuz occurred, we were crushed at the fact that we
148

Shemos 27:20.

149

Nedarim 35b.

could no longer see the Rebbe and his leadership
openly.
Why no new Rebbe?
Did the Rebbe ever clearly indicate what his own status
would be after his histalkus, and how chassidim should
conduct themselves in such an event? Often nonLubavitchers ask: What about succession, which was
done after the histalkus of every other Rebbe? Why
don’t Lubavitchers appoint a new Rebbe?
In the case of the previous Chabad Rebbes, even when
the successor was not immediately known, the
predecessors had dropped various hints about their
successor’s identity. In contrast, the Rebbe explicitly
prepared chassidim for the event of his histalkus by
issuing a public will,150 in which not only did he not
indicate that the Chabad movement would be led by
another Rebbe, but on the contrary, he instructed that
it be led by the Chabad rabonim of each community,
whom the Rebbe declared were to be akin to Yehoshua
who succeeded Moshe Rabenu.
On a much earlier occasion, the Rebbe alluded to the
possible scenario of his histalkus, and instructed
chassidim how to act in such a situation by relating the
following story of the Tzemach Tzedek originally told
by the Previous Rebbe.151

150

See section entitled “The Rebbe’s public will.”

Once, the Tzemach Tzedek was summoned to a
rabbinic conference called by the secular
authorities. At this conference he vehemently
opposed the “reforms” in Jewish education that the
anti-religious Haskalah movement was pressing
the government to mandate, and in so doing he
endangered his life many times.
His colleague at the conference, Reb Itche
Volozhineh, confronted him: “How can you permit
yourself to risk your life—what will be with the
community [if you lose your life, G–d forbid]?” The
Tzemach Tzedek responded: “This question can be
answered in two ways: First, there are the children
[who can succeed me]. [They were holy in their
own right, and most of them indeed went on to
take the mantle of Rebbe after the Tzemach
Tzedek’s histalkus.] Second, the unity among
chassidim will lead them toward Moshiach.”
The Rebbe quoted this story in 5726 (1966), and
commented:152
Now that it is the hundredth year after the
histalkus [of the Tzemach Tzedek], and now there
are also no children, the solution is for chassidim
to unite, and in this way they will carry it out. ...
151

Sefer HaMaamarim Admur HaRayatz 5711, p. 245.

152

Sicha of 13 Nissan, 5726.

The unity among chassidim nullifies all decrees
and negative things, breaks through all
boundaries, and elicits the truth of Havayeh
[transcendent G–dliness] until it reaches here, in
the world.
The Rebbe was clearly intimating (and twenty-eight
years in advance!) that since in the scenario of his
histalkus, G–d forbid, there would be no successor, the
solution to the absence of his physical leadership will
lie in the Tzemach Tzedek’s second response—unity
among chassidim. Here, too, the Rebbe clearly
indicated that he would have no successor, and
instructed chassidim how to approach this scenario.
Yet although there is no successor, this is not to say
that the Rebbe no longer leads us, G–d forbid. Rather,
the Tzemach Tzedek meant to say that through unity
among themselves, chassidim would be able to
overcome his physical absence. But he would still be
spiritually present with his chassidim just as before.153
Another reason that the Chabad movement will not
appoint a new Rebbe is that the Rebbe clearly defined
the “mission statement” for his generation in the very
first maamar that he delivered, Basi Legani, declaring
that our task is to draw the shechinah [divine
presence] down into the world, with the actual coming
of Moshiach. Or, as the Rebbe put it on many occasions
153

See the section above entitled “Lesson from Shimshon.”

in more recent years, “This generation is the last
generation of exile and the first generation of
redemption.”154 Since, to state the obvious, Moshiach is
yet to come, the Rebbe’s role as Nasi HaDor, as Leader
of the Generation, surely continues.
Moreover, despite the Rebbe’s physical absence, we
see the tremendous, ongoing, ever-growing success,
kein ayin hara, of the Rebbe’s chassidim and shluchim
in spreading Yiddishkeit and Chassidus worldwide.
This attests tangibly and powerfully to the Rebbe’s
ongoing leadership.
This leads into how one should respond to the
question: Why doesn’t the Chabad movement appoint a
new Rebbe from among its ranks?
A word must be said, with all due respect, about the
questioner. What I will explain also accounts for the
fact that it is typically non-Lubavitchers who (often
with well-meaning intentions) pose this question. The
very question reveals a total lack of understanding
about the concept of a Rebbe as explained in Chabad
teachings.
A Chabad Rebbe is not a glorified CEO of a company, a
figurehead, and a charismatic leader. He is—and this is
completely not doing justice to the concept—a truly
holy person. Moreover, not only does he fit the Tanya’s
definition of a tzadik gamur—one who is completely
154

Sefer HaSichos 5750, Vol. 1, p. 158.

pure, and not only has no evil inclination, but derives
no pleasure from anything worldly, and even finds
physical delights abhorrent155—but he is a Rebbe,
which means far, far more. Just one example of just
how lofty is the level of a Rebbe was mentioned above,
“The entire being of a Rebbe is the soul-level of
Yechidah, and he elicits this level into every section of
his soul and of his body.”156
Since, on account of the “decline of the generations,”
truly holy people are no longer to be found, never mind
people of the caliber of a Chabad Rebbe, choosing a
regular person, even a great scholar who is a very
refined, inspired person, and declaring him Rebbe
would be utterly absurd. It would be akin to declaring a
chicken a person, and expecting it to manage a
company. This would obviously make a farce of the
entire concept of a Rebbe, and would in any case fail
miserably.
To put it differently, I will quote the response of Reb
Zalman Marozov sheyicheh to a very distinguished
rabbi who posed this question to him: “In Russia, we
155

See Tanya ch. 10.

This also ties in with the Rebbe’s statements that each of
the Chabad Rebbeim were the “Moshiach of the generation” in
their respective times, because Moshiach is particularly
associated with the soul-level of Yechidah (Ramaz on Zohar
2:40b).
156

had a very hard time obtaining an esrog. We would
have to go to great lengths and spend exorbitant sums
of money, and the whole town would use one esrog.
And yet no one thought to “solve” the problem by
simply taking a lemon and declaring it an esrog ... ”

Glossary
Alter Rebbe: Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi of blessed
memory, the first Rebbe of the Chabad Chassidic
movement, also known as the Baal HaTanya, the author
of the Tanya
Anash: Lit., “the people with whom we are at peace”;
this term is used to refer to other members of one’s
Chassidic community
Avodah: Lit. “service,” i.e., toiling and growing in the
service of Hashem
Avodas HaTefillah: Lit. “the service of prayer,” prayer
at length accompanied by lengthy meditation on
Chassidic concepts
Chassidus: A unique school of mystical thought,
taught by a Chassidic Rebbe
Chassidus Chabad: The school of Chassidic thought
taught by the Rebbes of Chabad
Chabad: The Chassidic dynasty founded by Rabbi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Chitas: An acronym for Chumash (the five books of
Moses),Tehillim (Psalms), and the Tanya of Rabbi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi. The Previous Rebbe instructed
that everyone learn a daily portion of each Chumash
and Tanya and recite a daily portion of Tehillim

chossid (pl. chassidim): a disciple of a Rebbe
davven: to pray; davvenen: prayer
farbrengen (v. to farbreng): A Chabad Chassidic
gathering, for the purpose of inspiring the participants
to greater love of Hashem, of their fellow Jew, and of
Torah, according to the guidance of Chabad Chassidus
Gan Eden: Paradise
geulah: Redemption
Gehinom: Hell
Gimmel Tammuz: The 3rd day of the month of
Tammuz, the day of the histalkus of the Rebbe
Hashem: G-d
hiskashrus: Bond between the Rebbe and chossid,
established by studying his teachings and following his
directives
histalkus: Passing of a tzadik, especially one who
taught mystical secrets (“pnimiyus haTorah”)
Hisva’aduyos: The Rebbe’s unedited public addresses
Iskafya: Self-restraint in order to subdue the animal
soul
Lubavitch: The town that served as the center of the
Chabad movement from 1812-1915. The movement is

named after this city. Literally, the name means “City of
love” in Russian.
maamar (pl. maamarim): A Chassidic discourse
mashpia: A spiritual mentor for a Chabad chossid
Medrash: Homiletical teachings of the sages
Nasi Hador: “Leader of the generation”—the tzadik of
the generation
neshamah: The special, extra Jewish soul
Nigleh: The revealed, legal dimension of the Torah
Ohel: The resting place of the Previous Rebbe and the
Rebbe pan: a letter requesting the Rebbe’s blessings
pan: A written request to a Rebbe for a blessing.
Rebbe (pl. Rebbeim): Leader of a Chassidic
movement, who is a great tzadik; among Chabad
chassidim, this refers to the Lubavitcher Rebbe
rov (pl. rabonim): The rabbi of a community, who is a
halachic expert
sicha (pl. sichos): A public address of the Rebbe or
one of the earlier Rebbeim
shaliach (pl. shluchim): An emissary of the Rebbe,
sent to spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus
Shulchan Aruch: The Code of Jewish Law of Rabbi
Yosef Caro

Tanya: The Alter Rebbe’s magnum opus, discussing
the nature of Hashem, the souls, Teshuvah, and deep
self-refinement; this work is known as “The Written
Torah of Chassidus”
Toras Menachem: The Rebbe’s unedited public
addresses, presented in Hebrew
tzadik (pl. tzadikim): According to the Alter Rebbe’s
classic work known as Tanya, a tzadik is a saintly Jew
who possesses no evil inclination
Yom Hillula: The anniversary of the passing of a
tzadik who taught Kabballah or Chassidus (the inner
dimension of Torah); hillula means literally “wedding,”
for this day is regarded as a very joyous occasion
Yud Shevat: The tenth day of the month of Shevat, the
day of the histalkus of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef
Yitzchak, the sixth Rebbe of Chabad

Index
“intermediary who joins”, 18
10 Shevat, 17, 50
27 Adar, 70–73
28 Nissan, 65–70
Aharon HaKohen, 72
Alter Rebbe, 7–8, 10, 29–30
Amalek, 17, 82
Avrohom Parizh, 49
Baal Shem Tov, 7
Basi Le’Gani discourse, 44, 88
Chassidus: bond through learning continues
after tzadik's passing, 16; campaign to
publicize, 38, 65; power of a maamar, 50–
51; publication of C. brings spiritual
redemption, 45; Rebbe innovates novelties
in, 38; topics of geulah and Moshiach, 59
cheshbon nefesh, 62
Daniel, 75
doctors, 83
end-times, 45
Gimmel Tammuz, 25–27, 28, 31–32, 33, 37
Haskalah movement, 86
Hillel Paritcher, 50–51
hiskashrus, 16, 25–27, 27–28, 30, 31–32, 32–
33, 35–37
histalkus, 44–45
inner change, 69
Itche Der Masmid, 61
kashes, 21–23
Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, 15
Likkutei Sichos, 59
Likkutei Torah, 45
limud zechus, 7
love between chassidim, 27–28, 29–30
love between Rebbe and chossid, 27–28, 29–
30, 33–64, 49
love of Hashem, 42, 68
Maggid of Mezeritch, 10, 78
Maharash, 45, 81
Marlow, Yehuda Kalman, 85
Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, 7, 10–11, 35
Moshe Rabenu, 14, 71–73, 78, 82, 85, 86
Moshiach, 88, 89; age of M., 32–33; complete
Mitzvah observance, 61; deadline for

arrival, 45; demanding, 63, 69; from the
dead, 73–76; goal of our divine service, 68;
imminence, 63, 66; learning about, 57–60;
our mission to bring, 67; preparing for, 61–
64, 64; we can bring M., 68–69
Nevuchadnetzar, 52–55
Nevuzradan, 52–55
Ohel, 37, 52
pan, 51–52
pnimiyus, 31, 61, 66–67, 69
prayer, 61, 63
Previous Rebbe, 8–13, 13–15, 34, 71–73
rabonim, 82–84, 84–85, 86
Rashab, 29, 51–52
ratzo and shov, 37–39
resurrection, 73–76
Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 39–47
Sanhedrin, 83
Shabbos, 64
Shimshon, 19–20
Shneur Zalman of Kapust, 81
speech, faculty of, 55–56
Tehillim: according to the Rebbe's age, 77;
daily, 77–78
test of faith, 16–18
the Rebbe: audio, 48, 55–57; public will, 80–
84; refusal to become Rebbe, 50; video, 56–
57
Torah study: public, 60
Treinen, Shmuel Michel, 51–52
tzadik. See hiskashrus; blessings of the, 34–37;
faith in the, 34–37; gazing at the image of,
52–55; maintains connection with chassidim
after passing, 13–16; protects the world, 13;
rules upon himself, 12; trusted with secrets,
78–79; Yom Hillula, 8
Tzemach Tzedek, 45, 80–82, 86–88
Ve’atah Tetzaveh, 8
Volozhin, Yitzchak of, 87
Yechidah, 20, 89
yechidus, 17
Yochanan ben Zakai, 24–25
Yom Hillula, 8, 15
Zohar, 59