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As we are now less than 30 days until Yud Shvat, the day of passing of the previous Rebbe and the day of the acceptance of leadership of the Rebbe, the following are some exerts of the sichos, talks, given by the Rebbe regarding this time.

“The unique quality of the month of Teves is expressed by our Sages who described it as “the month when the body derives pleasure from the body.” In the previous sicha (Tenth of Teves), it was explained that, in an ultimate sense, this refers to the pleasure that our bodies will derive from the Divine equivalent of the body after completing the service of refining the lowest elements of existence.


“This ultimate fulfillment will be revealed after the Messianic redemption. Then, we will see how “all that He made is very good.”

“…. This relates to this week’s Torah portion which begins, “And Yaakov lived in the land of Egypt.” Yaakov was able to live – in the full sense of the word as Torah defines it – not only in Eretz Yisrael but even in Egypt, the lowest level of this world. There he spent 17 years, 17 being numerically equivalent to tov, good.

“Yaakov’s soul contained the entire Jewish people and thus, each Jew has a spark of Yaakov in his soul. This spark grants him the potential to “live” even when he is in “Egypt,” in the midst of the exile. This is surely true at present when we are found in the last moments of the exile directly before the redemption.

“…. We are within 30 days of Yud Shevat. Hence, it is appropriate to mention the preparations to be made for that day. In particular, emphasis should be placed on the maamar (Chassidic discourse) Bossi Legani, which the Rebbe released to be studied on Yud Shevat.

“…. In order that all the above be carried out in an ordered manner, a period of preparation is necessary where different approaches can be tried. This will ensure a greater measure of success. May these efforts bring about the era when “those that lie in the dust will arise and sing,” with the Previous Rebbe among them. This will be accomplished by the service of Yosef, which is connected with Rachel’s prayer, “May G-d add on to me another son,” explained by chassidus to involve transforming those aspects of existence which are “other,” estranged from G-dliness, into a son.”

As mentioned, Yud Shvat is the anniversary when the Rebbe assumed the mantle of leadership of Chabad.

During a farbrengen (chassidic gathering) that evening, the Rebbe delivered his inaugural discourse titled Basi Legani – “I Entered my Garden,” marking his official acceptance of the position of Rebbe.

The Rebbe also made a statement establishing his “agenda” as Rebbe of Chabad. Freely translated, it reads in part, “If you see a person who has love of G-d but lacks love of Torah and love of his fellow, you must tell him that his love of G-d is incomplete. And if you see a person who has only love for his fellow, you must strive to bring him to love of Torah and love of G-d – so that his love toward his fellows should not only be expressed in providing bread for the hungry and water for the thirsty but also to bring them close to Torah and to G-d.”

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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at [email protected].