The story of Purim perennially brings to mind the invisible hand of G‑d at work in all ostensibly natural events. Divine Providence should be even more obvious when current events swing to radical extremes. These earth-shaking occurrences may bode good or evil, but in each case they point to the Divine lesson that in the time before Mashiach, ‘Many things will be clarified, refined and purified.’ (Daniel 12:10) The resulting clearer observation will help us to see the Divine plan and help effect G‑d’s will.

This profound analysis by the Rebbe Shlita in the Sichah of Purim 5747 helped place the events of 5747 in a proper and clearer perspective.

In these revolutionary and explosive times we find it appropriate to begin the 35th volume of Sichos In English, with this particular sichah as it helps bring order to the chaos. A parallel theme to this was again discussed by the Rebbe in his call for observance of the Seven Noachide Laws by all the nations of the world which will effect purification of the world.

The theme of designating a teacher for oneself is again addressed by the Rebbe, this time with a clear directive on how to identify the proper Rav-teacher and what qualities he should possess. This subject was touched upon several times in the period covered in this volume as the reader will surely note. Moreover, the Rebbe discussed at great length the two Mishnahs in Pirkei Avos that deal specifically with the directives ‘to make a Teacher for yourself.’

Once again on Purim the Rebbe spoke of Jewish books in the home and urged the distribution of illustrated Haggadahs to children, thereby adding a Haggadah to the list of necessary Jewish books in every child’s room.

As in previous volumes we have included three public letters which the Rebbe Shlita issued during this period.

Several general Yechidus gatherings are covered in this volume and the theme of Jewish Unity and ahavas Yisrael again surfaced in the Rebbe’s talks.

Pesach brought several talks devoted to new settlements for Russian Jews in Eretz Yisrael, especially the new Chabad city in Yerushalayim for Russian immigrants.

The free-style translations of the sichos are structured to appeal to the English-speaking reader who has some basic familiarity with the teachings of Chassidus. The original contexts of the sichos are generally maintained, and the form and style in which they were said is adhered to. Only slight adaptations or omissions have been permitted, when they facilitate the smooth flow of the translation. As always, great effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the translations; however, they carry no official authorization. As in all works of this nature the possibility of inadvertent error exists, for which we humbly apologize.

Through the years the teachings of Pirkei Avos have been covered again and again and with each discussion of Pirkei Avos the Rebbe revealed new insight and new depth of understanding in the ‘Ethics of our Fathers.’ Generally speaking Pirkei Avos advises us in matters of piety and inner religiosity — at the same time one may take practical advice in daily matters from Avos.

This volume also includes the Sichah to the convention of N’shei Chabad as well as to the graduates of Bais Rivkah and the staff members of Camp Emunah. At that gathering the Rebbe emphasized that it is important to teach small children that every aspect of life may be uplifted and sanctified.

Discussion and analysis of sections of Rambam again figured prominently in the Rebbe’s talks and he clarified many unclear points relating to Halachah in the interpretation of the Rambam.

In his discussion of the role of Levi’im and Kohanim in the dedication of the Mishkan the Rebbe Shlita explained that the celebrants at a function usually do not participate in the same way as the guests. To illustrate this rule the Rebbe told of the Previous Rebbe’s directives to him at his own wedding, when the Previous Rebbe urged him not to walk around among the guests but to sit at his place and allow the others to move about.

In recent years the Rebbe has shown us that daily events point to the time when, ‘Many things will be clarified...’ The Rebbe himself has taken the role of ‘clarifier’ and certainly through his teachings we see the world in a clearer way and this makes the world that much more ready for the coming of Mashiach.

Sichos In English

Erev Shavuos, 5750
40 Years of Nesius of the Rebbe