(Arriving at the summer resort, the Rebbe took a seat, spread out his tallis katan, and said, “This is datche...”1 He then added:)

In Lubavitch,2 the routine for datche was that we would leave town in the evening, make a stopover in a field on the way, farbreng on the grass, and reach our destination before daybreak. When my father arrived there, he would remove his outer garments, find a seat on something, spread out his tallis katan, and say, “This is datche...”

My father would expound on the spiritual meaning of datche as follows: “In the Holy Tongue, a datche is called ne’os deshe, which literally means ‘a residence of grass.’ What does this signify? In Bereishis3 it is written, ‘The earth sprouted grass.’ Rashi there, citing the Gemara (Chullin 60a), notes that the creative utterance that brought grass into existence did not specify that the various species of grass should sprout separately, ‘each according to its kind’ (lemineihu). Nevertheless, they drew a reasoned conclusion on their own initiative, ‘for themselves’ (be’atzman) – that if even the trees were instructed [in the same verse] to come into being as separately identifiable species, then surely the same Divine directive was intended to apply to themselves.

[On this teaching of Rashi, the Rebbe Rashab comments:] “Yet despite their conclusion, we observe that in fact the various species of grass do grow in confusion. How can this be explained?

“Every little blade of grass, even the smallest, is an independent being, and though it may possibly be trodden upon, it nevertheless exists and grows and maintains its individuality. The same is true of a person’s Divine service. When a man is at home, he studies and davens, but he is occupied with people. However, when he goes out to datche, he draws a reasoned conclusion ‘about himself’ (be’atzmo): he is able to concentrate on himself, [i.e., to reaffirm his own tziyur, his own spiritual personality]. As a result, ‘His heart [is] elated in the ways of G‑d,’4 and he is able to serve G‑d joyfully.”5

(The Rebbe Rayatz concluded:) May G‑d grant everyone a healthy summer.