The special quality of this year is that it is the 60th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s redemption on Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5687. In Jewish law, the significance of the number 60 is highlighted in the laws of kashrus. When non-kosher food, either liquid or solid, accidentally falls into kosher food, the mixture is deemed kosher if the quantity of kosher food is 60 times greater than that of the non-kosher.

As Rambam teaches,1 the majority of the laws of the Torah provide us with lessons intended to improve our conduct. In the present instance, the above law teaches that negative factors are nullified and considered as if they do not exist when there are 60 times as many positive factors to outweigh them. Even if the negative factors are “liquid” — in analogy, they arouse enthusiasm and involve a person’s entire being — they nevertheless become nullified when there are 60 times as many positive factors.2 The same applies with regard to the 60th anniversary of the redemption. It has the power to nullify any negative factors that may have occurred.3

The comparison may seem a bit questionable at first glance, for here we have only one year, not all 60 together. 60 portions of kosher food will nullify non-kosher food only when all 60 exist are combined and joined together.

In reality, however, all 60 years exist together. To cite a parallel, with regard to the counting of the Omer, we say “Today is two days of the Omer,” “...three days of the Omer,” and not “the second day” or “the third day.” Implied is that on the second day, we possess not only the positive influence of the second day, but of both days. Similarly, the positive elements of each successive day of the Omer are coupled with the cumulative influence of the previous days.

To give an example in a personal sense: There is a prohibition forbidding one from forgetting any Torah knowledge that he has acquired.4 And when a person remembers what he studied previously, he gains a greater understanding of any new concepts that he studies.

In a similar way, the blessings and potentials with which the Previous Rebbe endowed us in the past are all at our command. 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 the above enable us to merit the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash speedily in our days. Herein is also a connection with the number 60, for a vessel used for the meal offerings could contain up to 60 esronim.5 When a person works on making himself a “pure vessel,”6 then G‑d will “fill” him with a measure of “60 esronim,” which will nullify all of his negative traits. Moreover, not only will they be nullified, but they will also be transformed into good. As Rambam writes,7 in the days of Mashiach, all the commemorative fasts will be transformed into festivals and days of rejoicing.