The tenth of Shvat ("the tenth is holy,"1 in every month,
and all the more so the tenth day of the eleventh
month2) is the day of passing of my sainted father-in-law,
the leader of our generation.
The concept of a day of hilulo3 is explained by
the Alter Rebbe in Tanya:4 "all his deeds, his Torah and
his Divine service that he performed throughout his life... reveals itself
and shines in a revelation from above to below... affecting salvation in
the midst of the land." Further and fundamental, this includes giving strength
for a continued growth with greater force and greater vigor after
his passing, as a result of his sowing "all his deeds and Torah and
Divine service that he performed throughout his life."5
[This continues] until the flowering of the true and complete Redemption
through our righteous Moshiach in this generation (the last generation of
exile and the first generation of Redemption), according to the testimony
of the leader of our generation that all the appointed times have already
passed, and all is ready for the festive meal of the future, a table prepared
with the festive meal of Livyosan, Shor HaBar and Yayin HaMeshumar.
One might say that the era that commenced with the day of hilulo,
the tenth of Shvat (the seventy years of life he lived in this world, and
continuing for more than forty years6) can be divided into
three periods that parallel the three general periods throughout all the
generations (before the giving of the Torah, the giving of the Torah, and
the days of Moshiach). These are indicated in the three parshas: Shmos, Vaeira
The first period, forty years (5640-5680), was during the leadership of his
father, when the finishing touches of the process of the spreading of
the Wellsprings commenced, particularly through the establishment of the
Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim (which was administered by his only son). This followed
the pattern and is analogous to the Divine service of the Patriarchs,
who prepared for and introduced the concept of the giving of the Torah.
The second period includes the thirty years of his leadership during
his lifetime in this world (5680-5710). During this period his unique innovation
in his role as the leader of the teachings of Chabad Chassidus was his spreading
of the wellsprings outward - outward in the most literal sense - to the extent
that during his last ten years (the completion and perfection of his Divine
service) the innovation in the spreading of the wellsprings outward reached
the lower hemisphere (wherein the giving of the Torah did not occur). This
followed the pattern and is analogous to the innovation of the giving of
In the third period, the continuation of the leadership after his elevation
from the physical (from the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh
year (57117), the spreading of the wellsprings outward
increased, with greater strength and greater vigor, into all corners of the
world, until the Divine service was completed and perfected. Everything is
already prepared for the festive meal of the future - the days of Moshiach.
(From the talk of Shabbos Parshas Vaeira, 28 Teves,
Blessing of the New Month of Shvat, 5752)
1. Bechukosai 27:32.
2. [See below #65 for the significance of the eleventh month. Translator's
3. [Hilulo literally means "wedding," and is used to refer to the reunion
of a soul with its Maker. Translator's note.]
4. Iggeres HaKodesh, sections 27 and 28.
5. See Iggeres HaKodesh there: "And in the chakal tapuchin kadishin
["orchard of the holy apples," i.e., the Garden of Eden] are
implanted most sublime lights... growths in the second degree."
6. For then "a person reaches the level of his teacher" (Avodah Zara
5, beginning of second side) because "G-d gave you a heart to understand,
eyes to see and ears to hear" (Tavo 29:3).
7. See the pamphlet from the talk of Shabbos Parshas Vaeira 5750, note 99
(Sefer HaSichos 5750, vol. 1, p. 255-56.)