This volume begins with the farbrengens preceding Yud-Beis Tammuz, the date of the Previous Rebbe’s liberation from prison. 5747 commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s redemption, a number which contains unique significance as the Rebbe Shlita explains in several of the sichos.

From this period of individual redemption, we proceed to Bain HaMetzorim, the three weeks between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and Tishah BeAv. In these weeks, the Rebbe emphasized how the descent of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash was intended for an ascent, to allow us to reach the ultimate peaks of Mashiach’s coming and the ultimate redemption.

In the latter half of the month of Av, and certainly, in the month of Elul, the sichos begin to reflect the service of stock-taking for the year which is concluding and preparation for the year to come. In this context, attention was focused on the unique nature of these years. 5747 was a Shemitah (Sabbatical) year and 5748, a Hakhel year (a year in which the entire Jewish people collected in the Beis HaMikdash to hear the king read from the Torah). The Rebbe Shlita explains the relevance of these dimensions in our individual lives.

During the summer months, the Rebbe Shlita frequently stresses the importance of enrolling children in Torah camps and addresses rallies to the children on several occasions. This summer was no exception and in several of the sichos, the unique love and connection which the Rebbe shares with the children is given expression.

In the Shabbos farbrengens of this summer, the Rebbe Shlita would explain a passage from Rashi’s commentary on the Torah, one of the mishnayos from Pirkei Avos, and a halachah from the portion of the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah which was studied that day. (Similarly, several of the weekday sichos from this summer contain explanations of the Mishneh Torah.) Many of these sichos have been translated and thus, this volume reveals the singular approach with which the Rebbe Shlita explains these three texts.

This volume contains another unique sicha, the essay, “Navigating the Sea of Life.” This sicha was recited in connection with the boat cruises on behalf of the Chabad House of Simchah Monica that are organized by Chaim Yitzchok Spiegel. This year marked the beginning of a pattern continued in the years which follow, in which the Rebbe Shlita mentioned these cruises in a Shabbos farbrengen before giving him a bottle of mashke for the cruise.

It is a unique dimension of Hashgachah Peratis that this volume is being printed in connection with Chaim Yitzchak’s chasunah and this volume is dedicated to his merit and that of his kallah, Miriam שיחיו. The message of that sicha — that the soul is granted a lifeboat of Torah and mitzvos to enable it to successfully navigate through the challenges of life — is particularly relevant to them as they chart their lives together.

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As mentioned, the sichos contained in this volume refer to the Hakhel year, a year in which the king would address the entire Jewish people as they gather together in the Beis HaMikdash. Thus, there is a connection to the present days, which the Rebbe Shlita has associated with the passage from the Yalkut Shimoni that relates that Mashiach will stand on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash and proclaim to the Jewish people: “Humble Ones, the time for your redemption has come!”

May we witness the fulfillment of this prophecy in the most literal sense and may we merit to see how, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,” with the coming of Mashiach. And may this be in the immediate future.

Sichos In English

19th Day of Kislev, 5751