1. The 15th of the month of Tammuz is the day on which the moon waxes full. This means that the themes of the month reach their apex on this day. We should include in this phenomenon also the themes and nature of the days of liberation — the 12th and 13th of Tammuz.

The moon, of course, “shines” only because it reflects light from the sun. Therefore, when the moon is full, it would indicate that the moon has reached a state of full reception, and hence, full reflection, of sunlight.

The moon is used as a metaphor for the Jewish people, who have been compared to the moon, the smaller luminary, just as Yaakov was called the small one (see Chullin 60b). Furthermore, the Jewish people receive everything from the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who has been compared to the sun:

For a sun and shield is the L‑rd G‑d. (Tehillim 84:12)

In contemplating the analogy of the waxing moon which reaches its fullness — its reception from the sun — we may infer in the analogue that the Jewish people, at that same time, reach their fullness in Divine service. The physical full moon symbolizes the spiritual state of perfection in the Divine service of the Jewish people.

Now, on the 15th of Tammuz the Jewish people reach the apex of Divine service for that month. After the lofty state attained on the 12th and 13th of the month, when the 15th comes, it introduces new and greater peaks even in the celebration of salvation.

What is the essential focal point of Yud-Beis Tammuz? Ahavas Yisrael and Jewish unity, as they were emphasized by the Previous Rebbe in his famous letter issued on the first anniversary of his liberation:

Not me alone did the Holy One, Blessed be He, liberate...but also all those who cherish our holy Torah, who observe mitzvos and [even] those [who are only] called by the name “Jew.” (Letters of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn, vol. 2, p. 80)

It was a liberation which unified the people with the Nasi. For the body follows the head and although only the Nasi was actually arrested and freed — nevertheless the Jewish people experienced the freedom. [This unity actually pervaded even the realm of animal, vegetable and inanimate, and even the gentile world, to unite everything with the unity of G‑d.]

Therefore, on the 15th of Tammuz we should have an increase in freedom as it unites with all the aspects mentioned.

This point however is really unclear. The days on which the Previous Rebbe was actually freed from incarceration were the 12th (when he was told that he would be set free) and the 13th (actually set free) of Tammuz. If so, how can we say that several days later, on the 15th of the month, the liberation will be more perfect than on the days when he was actually released?!

We may draw a parable from the first liberation from Egypt as it relates to the ultimate redemption.

Of the future redemption the prophet tells us:

As in the days of your coming out of the land of Mitzrayim I will show you marvelous things. (Michah 7:15)

This may be understood in two ways:

1) The future redemption will be like the Exodus from Egypt — similar but not really so miraculous.

2) According to the Zohar: The future salvation will be so supernatural that even compared to the wonders of the Exodus you will see marvelous things.

This teaches us that the event which opened the way for the future redemption was the Exodus out of Egypt. Even so, the redemption of Mashiach; as compared to the precedent of the Exodus, will be much loftier.

A similar example may be drawn in the case of Matan Torah. Matan Torah opened the channels of Torah and there will not be another Matan Torah. But it was the source for Torah, and even the Torah which will be taught at the time of Mashiach will have had its roots in Matan Torah.

The Torah of the days of Mashiach will be immeasurably higher than the Torah we have now, as the Midrash puts it:

The Torah which man learns in this world is vanity in comparison with the Torah which will be learned in the days of Mashiach. (Koheles Rabbah 11:8, par. 1)

We must understand the development of the redemption power in a similar way. On the 12-13 of Tammuz the conduit of salvation was opened and it still stands as the root and source of freedom. Nevertheless, once the source was opened, the 15th of the month has the ability to develop the salvation even higher, to the point of perfection.

Being that this year Yud-Beis Tammuz occurs on Shabbos, this thought is emphasized even more strongly. As all the days of the week receive blessing from the preceding Shabbos, and as Yud-Beis Tammuz is the root of the redemption which is expanded and perfected on the 15th — the combination of Yud-Beis Tammuz and Shabbos greatly enhances the power of redemption of the 15th.

And just as when fruit blossoms and ripens on a tree it is an immeasurable advancement relative to the original tree — so, too, the increase of the 15th vis-à-vis Yud-Beis Tammuz, is in an immeasurable fashion.

We find a similar relationship in the study of Torah (for everything stems from Torah). In Torah there is a system of learning termed “a fountain which flows with ever-increasing strength,” which has two aspects. On the one hand, you must start with an existing spring, and then it rises and becomes overwhelmingly powerful, way beyond the original power of the spring. Here we may see the analogy — while it is true the Shabbos extends its blessing to the days of the following week — yet at the same time it is on the 15th of Tammuz that the theme of redemption reaches its apex of perfection — just as the moon reaches its fullness.

This year there is an added aspect of unique importance connected with Yud-Beis Tammuz and Shabbos.

This past erev Shabbos the “Sefer HaMaamarim (Chassidic Discourses) 5685” of the Previous Rebbe was published, after much effort and zealousness on the part of several dedicated and self-sacrificing individuals.

Although all of the discourses are the teachings of the Previous Rebbe, nevertheless in proximity to Yud-Beis Tammuz we should find a maamar which specifically deals with the theme of Yud Beis Tammuz. (Even though the year 5785 was two years before the arrest and liberation of the Previous Rebbe, it was, however, the Previous Rebbe’s birthday.)

With the help of G‑d, it turns out that the Previous Rebbe himself gave us direction by teaching a maamar on Shabbos Naso entitled “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us as He was with our fathers; may He not forsake us nor abandon us” (I Melachim 8:57).

Being that the maamar is so lengthy it is quite probable that only the first part was spoken on Shabbos Naso and the latter parts of the maamar were said on the later Shabbosim, closer to Yud-Beis Tammuz. This can only be clarified by people who were there, who would remember the exact sequence. In this maamar we find a connection to Yud-Beis Tammuz in a very intriguing way. For on the 3rd of Tammuz in the year 5687, the sequence of liberation began, and the Previous Rebbe said the maamar entitled “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us as He was with our fathers; may He not forsake us nor abandon us!”

The maamar of 5685 began with a query, what is the meaning of this request that G‑d should be with us as with our fathers — meaning the “fathers” of the world (Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov). Is it possible that each and every Jew can make such a request?

We know from the Talmudic discussion of prayer in the tractate Berachos that one should pray only for things which can possibly come about in natural ways. Can the average Jew still ask for this special closeness to G‑d?

This same thought was also expressed in the maamar in the year 5687. As we study the two maamarim further we find how the connection to Yud-Beis Tammuz appears even more strongly. Therefore, in connection with the publication of this Sefer HaMaamarim just before Yud-Beis Tammuz, it is appropriate to study the context and inner theme of that maamar.

[Note: At this point the Rebbe Shlita delivered a Chassidic discourse (maamar) starting with the verse, “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us...nor abandon us.”]

2. Being Tuesday, we have today the special influence of the double blessing of “that it was good,” which our sages say means “good to heaven and good to man (creatures).” “Heaven,” representing the lofty extremes, and “creatures,” representing the lowest extreme, are brought together and united in harmony with the double blessing of “that it was good.” So that all of man’s actions on this day benefit heaven and earth.

This produces a “three-ply cord” of “heaven,” “man” and the “superseding force” which connects them.

Coinciding with the 15th of Tammuz adds the additional quality of “perfection” and fullness.

In today’s Torah study portion the Torah relates to us that the daughters of Tzelophchad showed their great love for Eretz Yisrael — even more than that expressed by the men of that generation.

This presents a bit of a paradox. The men knew that the land would be distributed to them, as the Torah had stated:

Among these people shall you divide the land as an inheritance. (Bamidbar 26:53)

On the other hand — Tzelophchad’s daughters suspected that they would be excluded from inheritance. Which is why they came to Moshe with the request, demand and arguments to rationalize and legitimatize their claims to inherit a share in the land. Moshe, too, was not sure of their status, which is why:

Moshe brought their case before G‑d. (Ibid. 27:5)

What is surprising is that despite the ambiguity, they expressed the greatest love for Eretz Yisrael. This intense love pushed them to conduct themselves in an unusual and slightly outrageous manner; to approach the Beis Din and demand in a forceful tone: “Give us a portion of land!” (Ibid. 27:4). This conduct was certainly inappropriate for Jewish women, for:

The king’s daughter is all glorious [when she is] within. (Tehillim 45:14)

Under normal circumstances the daughters of Tzelophchad certainly acted as was befitting Jewish maidens, for they merited that a portion of the Torah was added in their name (no small feat). And the rules of modesty were already strictly adhered to, even in Egypt, the most immodest land.

So, on the one hand, based on firm tradition they certainly would have been very careful in their observance of the rules of modesty, while on the other hand, their demand for an inheritance really had no basis in Torah; the command to give land to daughters had not yet been told to Moshe! This rule was given to Moshe by G‑d only in response to their request!

If so, the paradox: How could Tzelophchad’s daughters disregard the rules of modesty in order to claim a portion in the land?!

The answer clearly is that their love for the land was so great that they did all they could to obtain their fair share, and they acted beyond the normal code. For them this was a case of self-sacrifice which pushed them to go even beyond the normal rule of holiness.

Their action mirrored the zealous act of Pinchas, who had placed himself in jeopardy to avenge and punish the sinner, Zimri. His initiative had not been clearly ruled in Halachah; if he had asked he would have been told not to meddle, but his zealousness for G‑d was so great that he did not ask, and he risked his life to sanctify G‑d’s name. His zealousness was accepted by G‑d and in fact a dozen miracles happened to protect and assist him. Finally, as a result of his self-sacrifice G‑d gave him the everlasting covenant of peace and a permanent place in the Kohanic family.

The daughter’s of Tzelophchad took their example from Pinchas and were filled with the same zeal and fervor when they came to Moshe with their arguments, even if it meant slightly bending the accepted rules.

How do we apply this lesson in the Divine service of every Jew?

The daughters of Tzelophchad paved the way for the Jewish people, who are called the “Congregation of Israel,” and are often metaphorically considered as a “woman” or “wife” in their relationship with the Holy One, Blessed be He. This husband/wife allegory is the backdrop for Shir HaShirim.

But there is a higher level of relationship with G‑d for which the analogy of a “daughter” is used by our sages. When they wish to portray an even greater preciousness they call the Jewish people G‑d’s daughter:

It can be compared to a king who possessed an only child — a daughter. He loved her so dearly that He called her “My daughter.” (Shmos Rabbah 52:5)

This analogy has been extensively analyzed and discussed in Chassidic literature.

Now, Tzelophchad’s daughters showed intense affection for Eretz Yisrael. In esoteric teachings the term “Eretz” is associated with the term “ratzon — will” and the word “ritzah — racing.” This indicates that when one has a desire to do the will of his Master he will be zealous and fleet-footed. The word “Yisrael” of course is based on the verse “You have struggled with a Divine being and with men, and you have won” (Bereishis 32:29), which indicates the readiness to face and overcome obstacles and oppositions, even when it involves great risk and self-sacrifice.

We are all created to serve our Maker, and we have to introduce the element of enthusiasm and strength, affection and preciousness similar to the approach of Tzelophchad’s daughters who so loved Eretz Yisrael.

Do G‑d’s will with affection, and zealousness, approaching the intensity of martyrdom, without restrictive considerations.

This thought is also congruous with the theme of self-sacrifice as explained in the maamar, that in the period of exile self-sacrifice is more intense.

The soul is in exile — it has fallen from “the loftiest peak to the nethermost pit” (see Chagigah 5b), there to be clothed in a physical body. This is exile (see Tanya, ch. 37). In such a state the Divine service of the individual must be based on a foundation of self-sacrifice, as expressed by complete dedication of the will of the individual to conform to G‑d’s will.

When the soul stood in its supernal abode it attained the highest state of pure and absolute bittul — self-abnegation. This state has been described by the prophet:

As the L‑rd G‑d of Israel lives, before Whom I stood. (I Melachim 17:1)

In this lofty state there was no need for dedication of will — for the soul had no other will than its attachment to spirituality. This condition changes after the soul clothes itself in a physical body in galus, only then is there a need for dedication of will. In the additional darkness of the diaspora this need is even greater.

Here we may perceive more clearly the connection of the third section of Pinchas with the 15th of Tammuz. The perfection of the themes of Tammuz accentuates redemption, bound with, and dependent upon, the Divine service of the Nasi, with self-sacrifice. The determination of Tzelophchad’s daughters also accentuates the importance of heroic martyrdom and must be emulated by everyone in his/her Divine service, in all places and at all times, especially at the time of the “approaching heels of Mashiach.”

3. On the subject of the redemption we know that in the Talmud the sages expressed the attitude that “all the predestined dates have passed” (Sanhedrin 97b). If so, Mashiach should have come long ago. Despite this tarrying, every Jew believes with a complete and fundamental faith that Mashiach will come.

This may explain the past, as for the future and present we must cry out and say:

“All the predestined times have passed” — “We want Mashiach!” At the same time we must also say: “O give thanks to the L‑rd, for He is good: for His steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the L‑rd say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” (Tehillim 107:1,2)

The emphasis is on the act of redemption — this is what we demand!

And since from this Yud-Beis Tammuz the Nasi of our generation begins reciting Psalm 107, the responsibility rests on the Nasi to awaken mercy here below — the worldly Beis Din must rule “whom He has redeemed!” — and then the Heavenly court will look to see what the earthly court rules, and then rules likewise. For all the predestined dates have passed!

Mashiach must come, immediately, and redeem the Jewish people — with our youth and elders, sons and daughters, the complete nation. With their “silver and gold” — material and spiritual — love and fear of G‑d, which bring the fulfillment of the 248 positive and 365 negative commandments. Then we will race to the “clouds of heaven” and be carried by them — and instantly we will be standing in Eretz Yisrael, at the gates of Yerushalayim, with Ahavas Yisrael and Jewish Unity — on the Temple Mount, with joy and glad hearts.

It is appropriate to mention at this time the importance of contributing to the tzedakah funds associated with these special days and although I have not specifically mentioned it, many have already given to these important tzedakahs.

If for some reason there are those who have not yet contributed they should correct this in a “double manner,” etc.

Today in Kfar Chabad they celebrated the dedication of the “Beis Chabad — Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch” with much beauty and grandeur.

This will certainly add zealousness in building more such Chabad Houses in many different places. It will impress on the inhabitants of the different areas the importance of such edifices and motivate them to want to build Chabad Houses in their localities and to assist in the construction.

When someone takes an active role and is involved in doing a good thing the project becomes very important to him. Then after the Chabad House is built they will have a motivation to enter the Beis Chabad and to work hard so that all activities of Beis Chabad will be successful. They should attract great multitudes, and add beauty to the activities of the house (the beauty of the Nasi) — and the Beauty of the Holy One, Blessed be He. And this should begin immediately, so that the foundation shall be set before the “three weeks.”

Now in relation to the Three Weeks we should encourage the study of the laws of the Beis HaMikdash.

And if Mashiach will come before the 17th of Tammuz then it will be even more appropriate to study the laws of the Beis HaMikdash.

When we study the laws of the Beis HaMikdash before Mashiach comes we can only approximate the designs and plans, but when Mashiach comes, we will learn it from the mouth of Mashiach in all its exactitude.

Therefore, these studies should be encouraged, and at the same time there should be an increase in Ahavas Yisrael and Jewish Unity, which will bring the fulfillment of the prophecy:

The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall become times of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts to the house of Yehudah; therefore love the truth and peace. (Zechariah 8:19)

We will have genuine truth and peace, which will bring to Ahavas Yisrael and Jewish unity.