Well before the beginning of this year, the Rebbe Shlita explained that התשנ"א was an acronym for the words, היה תהיה שנת אראנו נפלאות, “This will surely be a year when ‘I will show you wonders.’ ” And similarly, at the very outset of the Gulf Crisis (which began shortly before the start of the year), he connected these events with the prophecies of the Yalkut Shimoni (Vol. II, sec. 499). These concepts were mentioned throughout the sichos of Tishrei, and on some occasions, e.g., the second night of the Sukkos, they were highlighted.

The “wonders” of the present year were reflected in the different sichos of the month of Tishrei. The letters of the word Tishrei (תשרי) can be rearranged to form the word רשית, meaning “the head of.” Just as the head contains the life-energy for the entire body and controls its functioning, so too, Tishrei contains the life-energy for the entire year that follows. As a manifestation of this concept, Tishrei is a month filled with a wealth of sichos touching on a broad scope of Torah subjects. One of these sichos, the address to the members of the Machne Israel Development Fund, was reviewed and edited by the Rebbe Shlita himself.

One of the themes mentioned several times during the month of Tishrei was the role of Jewish women and the advances in the area of modesty. In addition to the mention of this theme in the various sichos, the Rebbe’s ideas were also presented in a special essay, “The Challenge Confronting Jewish Women; Social Involvement Enhanced by Modesty.”

After the month of Tishrei, most of the sichos contained in this volume are taken from the Rebbe’s Shabbos farbrengens. These farbrengens use the insights into the weekly Torah portion as a base to explain various subjects of both eternal and contemporary relevance. Thus, we find the sichos of these Shabbasos dealing with the ideas of Jewish education, the fusion of materiality with spirituality, the right of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael, the turnabout in the Russian government’s approach to the treatment of the Jews, and many other topics.

Two very significant events took place during this period and in both cases, the Rebbe Shlita devoted major portions of the farbrengen to them. These were the siyum (conclusion) of the seventh annual cycle of study of the Rambam’s classic text, the Mishneh Torah, and the International Conference of Shluchim.

This volume closes with the sichos of the holiday of Chanukah. Speaking four times during the holiday, the Rebbe Shlita explained a number of different dimensions of the festival. Highlighting this sequence of addresses was the address of the eighth day of Chanukah. In 770, were gathered thousands of children in a rally of Tzivos Hashem, but the gathering was not limited to 770. Linked by satellite to Chanukah celebrations in Moscow, London, Paris, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, and centers throughout the world, the Rebbe’s address was heard live by tens of thousands of people.

The verse associated with the Hebrew date of this year, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,” is a reference to the wonders of the Future redemption. And this year — as mentioned in some of the sichos of this volume and to a greater extent in the sichos contained within the subsequent volumes — the Rebbe Shlita has explained how Mashiach’s coming is imminent. May the publication of this volume serve as one further stage in the spreading forth of the wellsprings of Chassidus, and may this hasten the coming of the Redemption. May this take place in the immediate future.

Sichos In English

20 Menachem Av, 5751