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The passing of the righteous seems to be a terrible occurrence. Yet the Torah tells us that the passing of the righteous affects salvation throughout the world and we celebrate the anniversary with a joyous gathering.

A Journey Ends; Another Begins

A Journey Ends; Another Begins

20 Menachem Av, 5746 · August 25, 1986

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A Journey Ends; Another Begins: 20 Menachem Av, 5746 · August 25, 1986

The passing of the righteous seems to be a terrible occurrence. Yet the Torah tells us that the passing of the righteous affects salvation throughout the world and we celebrate the anniversary with a joyous gathering.
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Siyum, Passing of a Tzaddik, The
A Journey Ends; Another Begins
20 Menachem Av, 5746 · August 25, 1986
Disc 65, Program 257

Event Date: 20 Av 5746 - August 25, 1986

A Tzaddik’s passing seems to be a terrible occurence. Yet Torah tells us that the passing of the righteouss affects salvation throughout the world? And we celebrate the anniversary of a Tzaddik’s passing with a joyous Farbrengen?

To help a Jew reconcile this paradox, we also make a Siyum, completing a Tractate of Talmud, for in a Siyum there is the same paradox: How could we possibly celebrate the conclusion of Torah study, if Torah is “our life and the length of our days”?

The answer: An end in Torah study creates a springboard to ascend to infinitely higher levels. The Talmudic Sage Reb Zeira actually fasted in order to forget the Babylonian Talmud, and this enabled him to learn the higher methodology of the Jerusalem Talmud. Forgetfulness is itself a form of “demise,” for the knowledge no longer “lives” in one’s mind. Nevertheless, Reb Zeira fasted to forget his Torah study in order to reach greater heights.

Similarly, a Jew must transform the loss of a Tzaddik into a springboard for bringing increased goodness into the world.

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