Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As we approach Yud Alef Nissan, which will mark 120 years from the Rebbe’s birth, Jews worldwide are looking for an appropriate way to prepare for this special and auspicious day.

We need not look too far, as the Rebbe himself clearly told us the fitting gift for a Rebbe’s 120th birthday.

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In the farbrengen of 20 Cheshvan 5741, in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab (Rabbi Sholom DovBer, the fifth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe), the Rebbe said (Sichos Kodesh 5741, vol. 1):

This year marks the 120th birthday of the Rebbe Rashab. On the posuk [referring to mankind after the Mabul], “his days will be a hundred and twenty years,” the Zohar comments: “This is an allusion to Moshe Rabbeinu… who bestows life to all Jews from the Tree of Life.” The Zohar also points out that the word “b’shagam” is a reference to Moshe – and they also share the same numerical value as noted in the Gemara (Chulin 139b).

The Zohar states further that “Moshe did not pass away,” and since the concept of death did not apply to him, he is able to bestow life to Jews in all generations.

The “Tree of Life” from which Moshe bestowed life is a reference to the Torah, as the Zohar explains at length… Since today is the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, special emphasis should be invested in the study of his Torah – his maamorim. Even one maamar of his contains a wealth of knowledge, and there are numerous of them available in print. We only need to “search” and then we will surely “find!”

The Rebbe concludes: “‘Metziah – Finding’ connotes success immeasurably greater than the effort invested, like literally finding a lost item. It is also related to the pasuk, ‘I have found My servant Dovid’ – referring to the coming of Moshiach.”

The Rebbe also addressed the question of which gift is most befitting in the sichah of Purim 5732 (Toras Menachem, vol. 67):

Some are preparing for the birthday and deliberating whether to choose something in the realm of tzedakah or Torah – I want to clarify that it should first and foremost be connected with Torah!

…Simply put, although one generally doesn’t set conditions on a gift, it is, after all, for the purpose of generating nachas ruach. Therefore, notwithstanding all the other positive activities, it is proper, desirable, good, right, and pleasant – like all the 15 descriptions in Emes v’Yatziv – that everyone should also increase their Torah study, both nigleh and Chassidus.

In light of these wondrous sichos that are so relevant to us now, it was decided amongst the leadership of the Central Lubavitch Youth Organization that a fitting preparation for the Rebbe’s 120th birthday is to make a collective unified effort to learn all the Rebbe’s printed Torah to be studied jointly by Jews worldwide.

The Rebbe often noted in connection to the annual division of Shas on Yud Tes Kislev that each participant is considered to have completed the entire Shas. Thus, all those who participate in the current joint study will have the tremendous zechus of completing all of the Rebbe’s Torah – sichos, maamorim, Igros Kodesh, and farbrengens.

The site is very user friendly and each participant will receive an automatic notification detailing his selection, as well as several reminder emails in the coming months.

The Lubavitch Youth Organization organized a similar joint study in honor of Yud Shevat 5750 (1990), marking 40 years of the Rebbe’s nesius, and they merited to receive encouraging responses from the Rebbe, which highlighted how much nachas it brought to the Rebbe.

We are certain that this joint study brings much nachas to the Rebbe, and that this coming Yud Alef Nissan, we will celebrate with the Rebbe in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, with the true and complete redemption, now!

A special website has been set up for this campaign: YudAlefNissan120.com.

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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at Lubavitchyouth@gmail.com.