1. The Alter Rebbe writes in Iggeres HaKodesh that on the Yahrzeit of a Tzaddik, all the service which he carried out throughout his entire life is revealed and “brings about salvation in the depths of the earth.” The same concept implies in regard to every Jew, for every Jew has a particular mission which he must carry out within this world. The mission with which others are charged, however, is restricted to a limited scope and therefore, the revelation at the time of their passing is also limited. In contrast, a Tzaddik is “the foundation of the world” and his service effects the entire world. Accordingly, the revelation connected with his passing “brings about salvation in the depths of the earth.”

The service of my mother, whose yahrzeit is today, centered on her commitment of Mesirus Nefesh to help her husband spread Torah. The fact that we have the opportunity to study my father’s teachings in Pnimiyus HaTorah and Nigleh is due to her efforts. Throughout his entire life, she provided the supportive home environment that allowed him to function as a Rav and to produce his unique teachings.

Rav Levi Yitzchok served as the Rav of Yakatrinaslov (or Dnepropetrovsk as it was called in those days). The city was the center of the Jewish community in the entire Ukraine. Rav Levi Yitzchok, the Rav of the city, was responsible for all Jewish affairs in the area. His wife assisted him in all these efforts and also took charge of various community projects on her own.

It is unnecessary to elaborate on the situation in Russia at that time. The Communist regime persecuted and oppressed Jews and Judaism. In particular, pressure was put on the Rabbis not to involve themselves in community affairs. My father paid no attention to the danger and did whatever he could to nullify the persecution and strengthen Yiddishkeit.

Once, the Russians tried to force all the Rabbis to sign a petition stating that they were living in a country which allowed freedom of religion and did not persecute the adherents of any faith. A number of Rabbis signed the petition because of the threats and torture to which they were subjected. My father openly stated that, not only would he not sign the petition, he would publicize the truth and reveal the persecution that actually took place.

Since everyone — both in Russia and the world at large — knew that this was the real truth and that publicizing it would create a great disturbance, my father’s threats were taken seriously by the Russians and caused them to concede to his demands in regard to many different matters, among them the preparation of Shemurah Matzah.

Dnepropetrovsk was the center of Russia’s great plains where wheat and barley grew abundantly and all the country’s large mills were located there. In order to prepare flour for matzos, special permission was required from Moscow. Needless to say, heeding the stringent requirements Rav Levi Yitzchok would impose could be interpreted as a counter-revolutionary activity which could harm the country economically. If a certain portion of the wheat was not used for the matzos, a financial loss would be incurred.

My father risked the danger of being labeled counter-revolutionary and went to Moscow with these demands, stating openly that if his demands were not granted, he would publicize their refusal throughout the world. He met with the President of Russia, and was able to influence him to issue orders to all the government officials in Dnepropetrovsk regarding the preparation of matzah, explaining that Rav Schneerson has the right to appoint mashgichim (kashrus inspectors) to supervise the preparation of the matzos. These mashgichim have the authority to declare wheat unfit for use. Their instructions were to be followed despite the financial loss that might be incurred.

There were those who accused Rabbi Schneerson of threatening the economic welfare of the country. Indeed, some of my father’s friends came to him late at night (lest they be seen speaking to the Rav for that alone was considered a crime in those days) and advised him that the Checkah, the government body which enforced out the decisions of the Yesveksia, were considering action against him.

The strength to carry out such service came from the supportive environment my mother created in the home. Not only did my mother not create an atmosphere of fear and tension, she reinforced my father’s decision to continue his activities without worrying about the dangers that might come about. (It must be emphasized that doing so also involved a measure of risk for my mother herself since the Russian government frequently imprisoned and tortured the families of the individuals they arrested.)

She continued to express her commitment to her husband after he was sent into exile, leaving the comforts of a home and a large Jewish community and journeying to a remote corner where no one knew anything about Jews or Judaism to help him set up home, doing whatever she could to create a proper home environment.

Among her activities was helping my father compose his Torah teachings by preparing ink and paper. She had to, herself, collect the grasses from which ink was made, boil them, etc. Similarly, paper was scarce at that time and she had to scrounge to find pieces fit to write on. Similarly, she had to make the pens. Also, bringing my father’s Torah texts to Alma Atta (his city of exile) also involved much self-sacrifice. After my father passed away, she continued her dedication to him and brought his writings back to Moscow.

Ultimately, these activities bore fruit and Likkutei Levi Yitzchok, a collection of the unique teachings that my father was able to compose, was published. Today, thanks to my mother’s self-sacrifice, these texts are studied throughout the world.

[My mother left Russia using a false passport, posing as a Polish citizen. Thus, it was impossible for her to take my father’s writings with her. Later, it was possible to secure a number of them through the intercession of the American ambassador. There are, however, many folios of his teachings that were left in Russia. My mother entrusted them to one of the members of the Lubavitch community. Because of the danger involved, he did not take them with him when he left Russia and their present whereabouts are unknown. Surely, however, they are intact — for Torah insights that were written with such self-sacrifice would not be lost — and when “those who are lost... will come,” these Torah teachings will surely emerge.]

My mother’s activities are also connected with her name, Chanah. Indeed, our Sages teach that a name helps shape a person’s behavior. The Hebrew letters of Chanah are an acrostic for the three mitzvos which are given over to Jewish women: lighting Shabbos candles (which brings about an atmosphere of light and peace within the home), Challah (which in a larger sense includes Kashrus in its totality), and Taharas Hamishpachah (this mitzvah brings one children and grandchildren who are occupied with Torah). Thus, her Yahrzeit must motivate everyone to strengthen the performance of these three mitzvos.

The above receives an added emphasis this year, the 25th anniversary of her passing. Also, this year is unique, being תש"נ, the year of miracles. Though there will be a multitude of miracles, shortly, we will witness the most important of those miracles, the Messianic redemption.

This redemption is also connected with Chanah’s prayer recorded at the conclusion of the Maftir for Rosh HaShanah which mentions how G‑d will “raise up the horn of His anointed.” This is also connected with Chanah’s son, Shmuel, who anointed King Dovid, the progenitor of the dynasty from which the Mashiach will come.

This is also relevant to every Jew, for every Jew, even young children, possesses a spark of Mashiach within his soul. Indeed, this quality is particularly connected with children to the extent that our Sages state that the verse, “Do not touch My anointed,” refers to Jewish children.

Thus, when every Jew will begin acting in a miraculous way, i.e., going beyond the limits of his habits and established patterns of thought, speech, and deed,1 this will enhance the revelation of G‑d’s miracles. May the resolutions that we take on and the talk about these matters, lead to Mashiach’s actual coming. May it be now, immediately.

{After the Sichah, the Rebbe distributed a package containing Lekach (the honey-cake traditionally distributed before Yom Kippur), a dollar to be given to tzedakah, a discourse of the Tzemach Tzedek on Simchas Beis HaShoeivah, and the letter he prepared in connection with Vav Tishrei, to thousands of men, women, and children. The distribution of these packages took approximately five hours.}