1. It is customary to “Open with blessing.” This is particularly true since tonight’s gathering is a continuation of the gatherings of the previous days on which we also “opened with blessing.”

Tonight should be associated with increased joy for, as is the practice in regard to wedding celebrations, a celebration is connected with panim chadashos, “a new face.” In the present context, every individual is granted “a new face” so that he can add to and enhance his celebration of Sukkos.

This potential is granted to every individual. In regard to the wedding celebrations, it is sufficient that only a single panim chadashos attend, i.e., it is only necessary that the rejoicing be “new” for a single individual. In contrast, in regard to these celebrations, every Jew is granted the potential to celebrate with renewed joy each night. He need not merely watch as another person celebrates with his entire being, he can celebrate in such a manner himself.

This potential is heightened on Hosha’ana Rabbah, which means “great deliverance.” This implies that all the aspects of the day, including our celebration, can also be “great.” Furthermore, since this is the seventh night of Sukkos, additional potential is granted, for seven completes the full cycle of the days of Sukkos and includes all the previous days. (The inclusion of the previous days in Hosha’ana Rabbah is reflected in the fact that all the Hosha’anos prayers of the previous days are repeated on Hosha’ana Rabbah.)

Although each day of Chol HaMoed represents an increase over the previous day, Hosha’ana Rabbah allows for a greater increase. For it serves as a preparation for Shemini Atzeres, the day in which all the service of Sukkos is “gathered in,”1 internalized, and the potential for “birth” is granted. This potential is, in turn, enhanced and brought to perfection by Shabbos Bereishis which follows shortly afterwards.

Shemini Atzeres shares a connection with the Era of the Redemption. It is the eighth day and the number eight (shemoneh) is associated with shemainoh (shumon) which refers to the essence2 of all things.

There is, however, no reason why we have to hold back our celebrations until Shemini Atzeres. We can celebrate tonight with all the intensity of the celebrations appropriate to Shemini Atzeres, Simchas Torah, and Shabbos Bereishis.3 Carrying out such celebrations will in no manner disturb the other services associated with Hosha’ana Rabbah night which include the recitation of the entire Book of Tehillim.

A person’s rejoicing should be so complete that should another individual try to hinder or restrict his rejoicing that he will protest, “Listen, what you’re doing is not appropriate for a man. The Hebrew word for ‘man’ is Adam which relates to the phrase adameh l’Elyon, ‘I resemble the One Above.’ Just as G‑d cannot be confined by any limits or restrictions, so too, man should rise above all constraints.” Furthermore, one should realize that the service of rising above one’s constraints can be carried out more easily in the present place, the shul, house of study, and house of good deeds of the Previous Rebbe.4

The above is enhanced by the influence of the Chassidic ushpiz of the present day, the Rebbe Rashab. On the surface, one might protest that the service of a Rebbe is far above that of a common person, and therefore, of little relevance to him. Although a Rebbe is indeed far above the level of an ordinary person, there is no room for such an argument. For every individual Jew is capable of the highest service, indeed, his service can parallel that of Mashiach himself.

This concept is reflected in the custom that, when taking out the Torah scrolls on a festival,5 every Jew recites a prayer6 asking that “There may be realized in us the verse which states, ‘And the spirit of G‑d shall rest upon him....’ ” Although this verse refers to Mashiach, we pray that this prophecy become fulfilled in regard to every Jew.

Hosha’ana Rabbah leads to Shemini Atzeres7 which is associated with the ultimate Redemption. This association reveals a connection between the Rebbe Rashab, the day’s Chassidic ushpiz, and King David, the ushpiz mentioned in the Zohar. King David is described as Malkah Meshicha, “the anointed king,” and he is the progenitor of the Mashiach. Similarly, the Rebbe Rashab shares a connection with the Future Redemption as implied by his name Shalom, which means “peace.” For it is in the Era of the Redemption, that the ultimate conception of peace will be revealed.

Similarly, the Rebbe Rashab’s activities focused on bringing about the Redemption. This is reflected in his establishment of the Yeshivah, Tomchei Temimim. As he explained in the renown sichah, Kol Hayotzei LeMilchemes Beis Dovid,8 the Yeshivah was established9 for the sake of educating “soldiers of the House of David,” students who would hasten Mashiach’s coming.

(The Yeshivah was established in the city of Lubavitch. Significantly, recently several Chassidic farbrengens were held in that city and Chassidic teachings were reviewed. The participants were very inspired by these activities. Similarly, it is worthy to note the success of the many Simchas Beis HaShoeivah celebrations that were carried out in that city and other places in that country.)

In this context, it is worthy to mention the importance of making efforts to establish new branches of the Yeshivah10 where students would study Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah in the manner studied in Tomchei Temimim. This implies that the two are not two separate disciplines, but two dimensions of one “perfect” (temimah) Torah. Just as there was a directive to print the Tanya in every Jewish community, similarly, there should be many different branches of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim established.

In this manner, we can fulfill the directive of the Mishnah, “Raise up many students.” Every student of Tomchei Temimim should make an effort to “raise up” students, at the very least, two or three students, and hopefully, “many students” in the broad and full meaning of the phrase. These efforts should begin in one’s own home, educating one’s family — including one’s wife and children — and should be extended to the furthest possible peripheries. A person should devote himself to these activities without rest, constantly seeking new students. Furthermore, the students which he raises up should also have the motivation to themselves go out and “raise up” other students.

As mentioned, we must “snatch” the opportunity to celebrate Simchas Beis HaShoeivah on the present night and on the following day. Although it is customary to recite the entire Book of Tehillim11 tonight, this should encourage and spur, rather than hinder these activities.

These celebrations should be carried out in a manner of Lechat’chilah Aribber and also they should be extended until they share a connection with the second name of the Rebbe Rashab, DovBer. DovBer is both the Hebrew and the Yiddish for the word “bear,” an animal described by our Sages as being “overladen with meat.” This implies that these celebrations must affect even the most material dimensions of our being.

And these celebrations will grant the potential for us to “see happiness,” to appreciate happiness in the days that follow12 and also to proceed to the ultimate celebrations that will accompany the Era of the Redemption. For indeed, there is no reason why the Redemption has not come already. We have completed all the service that is necessary, “polishing the buttons,” as it were. May we in the immediate future proceed together with King David, the ushpiz of the present night, and together with the entire Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael, to Jerusalem, and to the Beis HaMikdash.