1. [When the Rebbe came to his new home at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, for the first time, he first entered the shul that had been set up on the ground floor, and said:] May it be G‑d’s Will that the tefillos should spring from within, and that the davenen should well forth spontaneously with a relish that is inspired by genuine inner avodah.

2. [He then entered the dining room, took his seat, and said:] All the months of the year are preceded by a Shabbos Mevarchim. Why does the month of Tishrei not have one? As we know from the Alter Rebbe, citing the Baal Shem Tov,1 all the other months of the year are blessed by the Jewish people, except for Tishrei, which is blessed by G‑d Himself.

Shabbos Mevarchim of Tishrei always falls on Parshas Nitzavim, which opens by saying that “You are all standing firm…,” and proceeds to list all the levels of Jewish souls – all of which in G‑d’s eyes are equal. As is written in chapter 32 of Tanya, “They are all actually equal, and they all have one Father.”

Looking with fleshly eyes one recognizes an important or rich man by his clothes, or a sage by his knowledge; in the words of Rambam, “a pure soul in clean clothing” (or, in the language of the Sages,2 “…in an ugly vessel”). From G‑d’s perspective, however, they are all equal.

The phrase Atem nitzavim… – “You are all standing firm” – alludes to the time when (G‑d willing) Mashiach will come, because there will then be a new world, as it is written,3 “Like the new heavens…” For the world will then be destroyed, as it is written,4 “The heavens will vanish like smoke, and the earth…” Jews will then despair: What will come of them? In response to this, the One Above gives His assurance that “You are all standing firm.” As the Midrash teaches,5 this means that even though they all [i.e., the nations of the world] will collapse, the Jewish people will stand firm and endure forever.

We are living through a very difficult period, when the lives of human beings, and especially the lives of Jews, and of Torah scholars, are deemed worthless. Everyone is worried, despairing as to the fate of those who are near to him. We are not permitted to say (G‑d forbid) that we deserve to be answered,6 but we must daven to G‑d and request that He grant that things will become good for us.

This is a time for teshuvah.