In our Sages’ discussion of the recitation of the Shema,1 they ask: “May one show familiarity with G‑d?” which Rashi interprets to mean: “Should a man conduct himself with G‑d in the same manner as he conducts himself with his friends?”

“The righteous resemble their Creator.”2 Thus for similar reasons, chassidim refrain from writing biographies of their Rebbeim. It’s not that they feel required to show humility when speaking about the Rebbe. It’s that you can’t help but feel humility; you feel dwarfed and overwhelmed before him.

On the other hand, to appreciate the significance of the 28th of Sivan, the day of the arrival of the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin in the U.S., it is necessary to communicate some of the historical background. Knowledge of the experiences which the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin underwent imparts richness and depth to our comprehension of the insights he associated with the day.

With these thoughts in mind, to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin, we have collected various sources, each one highlighting a different dimension of the significance of the day. They include:3

An overview sharing glimpses of the Rebbe’s life from the Nazi invasion of Poland until the Rebbe’s arrival in the U.S.;4

Talks delivered by the Rebbe explaining the significance of the movement of the center of Chassidus from Europe to America;

Talks delivered on the 28th of Sivan which point out the spiritual content of the day;

A note from the Rebbe’s private journal (reshimos) beginning: “Four are required to offer thankful acknowledgment,” authored shortly after or perhaps shortly before the Rebbe left Vichy for Nice;

A note from the Rebbe’s private journal (reshimos) authored the day before the Rebbe set sail for America from Lisbon;5

A talk that discusses the significance of a 60th anniversary.

In that talk, the Rebbe states: “We are being granted not only the positive influences associated with the sixtieth year, but those associated with all sixty years. This has the power to nullify the existence of any negative factor.” May our commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of 28 Sivan nullify all negative factors and spur us to shoulder the mission with which the Rebbe charged us: readying ourselves and the world around us to greet Mashiach. And then, “those who repose in the dust will arise and sing,”6 and we will again hear teachings from the Rebbe; may this take place in the immediate future.

Sichos In English
28 Sivan, 5761