1. This farbrengen was begun before nightfall in order that it start on the fifteenth of Tammuz. The fifteenth of any month has unique significance. On that night, the moon attains fullness. In the present context, the fifteenth of Tammuz represents “the full moon” of the month of (the Previous Rebbe’s) redemption.

Even though in regard to holy matters — and surely anything involved with the Previous Rebbe, a leader of Israel, is not only holy, but holy of holies — “the night follows the day,” nevertheless, there is an advantage to begin in the daytime itself. For even in the above context, the day possesses a higher quality than the night which follows after it.

It is proper to “begin with blessing.” This surely refers to Torah, for Torah contains within it all other blessings. Within the realm of Torah, it is appropriate to begin with a Torah from the Previous Rebbe taken from the pamphlet of discourses connected with his imprisonment and the redemption. (Indeed, due to the significance of those discourses, they were recently reprinted.)

That pamphlet begins with a text of the Previous Rebbe’s address on the third of Tammuz. That date possesses a two-fold significance: On one hand, it represents “the beginning of the redemption.” The severe sentence against the Previous Rebbe was officially commuted and there was hope for his total vindication. On the other hand, he was being sent into exile, a punishment which, to a certain degree, was more severe than his previous imprisonment.

After that address, the pamphlet continues, including the Maamarim (Chassidic discourses) the Previous Rebbe recited while in exile, and those recited after his redemption.

Though the Maamarim are the essential aspects of that pamphlet, nevertheless, the address from the third of Tammuz is also significant. It was also written by the Previous Rebbe, himself, and must also be considered as “words of Torah.” Furthermore, since it begins with the verse: “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us as He was with our fathers,” it also contains an aspect of prayer.

(We find a similar concept in regard to the Book of Psalms. On one hand, it is considered Torah, one of the 24 books of the Tanach. Indeed, the five books of Psalms are viewed as equivalent to the five books of Moshe. On the other hand, as Psalm 72 states, the psalms are “the prayers of David, the son of Yishai.”)

Hence, when studying the Maamarim connected with the Previous Rebbe’s imprisonment and redemption, it is proper to begin with the address given on the third of Tammuz entitled: “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us as He was with our fathers.”

Subsequently, it can be expected that each individual will study the discourses as they are recorded in the Previous Rebbe’s own words, every individual according to his ability.

It is customary to sing a Niggun in preparation for the recitation of a Maamar. However, the present occasion calls for a deviation from the normal custom.

The Previous Rebbe explained that: “On Yud-Beis Tammuz, G‑d did not redeem me alone, but rather [the entire Jewish people.]” This statement applies to the generations born after Yud-Beis Tammuz and surely, to those which existed before Yud-Beis Tammuz.

Thus, the Previous Rebbe’s redemption is also a redemption for the Rebbeim who preceded him. Thus, in addition to singing “the Beinoni,” the niggun attributed to the Previous Rebbe, it is proper to sing niggunim from each of the Previous Rebbeim.

2. The fifteenth of the month is, as mentioned above, the day on which the moon becomes full.

Technically, the fullness of the moon is reached slightly before then. A lunar cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, and 693 sub-divisions. Half that figure, the time when the moon reaches its fullness, is thus, sometime between the fourteenth and fifteenth day. Nevertheless, the emphasis is placed on the fifteenth day, because, on the night of the fourteenth, the moon is not entirely full.

These concepts are reflected in regard to the monarchy of Israel. The Midrash states: “Just as the disk of the moon is not completed until the fifteenth day... Similarly, there were fifteen generations from Avraham until Solomon.” The ultimate of monarchy, “the fullness of the moon,” was not attained until Israel’s fifteenth generation.

Here too, we see an inter-relationship between the fourteenth and fifteenth generations. David, the fourteenth generation, is singled out as the progenitor of the Jewish monarchy. As the Rambam states: Once David was anointed, he acquired the crown of monarchy. Kingship belongs to him and his male descendants forever. Similarly, the Mashiach will be a descendant of David and Solomon. Thus, in a manner parallel to the moon, a certain dimension of completion was attained in the fourteenth generation.

The above concept becomes even clearer when the particulars of the transfer of authority from David to Solomon are examined. Solomon was crowned in David’s lifetime . Kings I (1:32-4) relates that Bathsheva declared: “May my lord, King David, live forever.” Directly afterwards, the narrative continues: King David said:... Take with you the servants of your lord and have my son Solomon ride on my mule... and anoint him as king over Israel; ... And you shall proclaim: May King Solomon live.

Though in general, we find that “two kings cannot share the same crown,” in this instance, Solomon, the fifteenth generation, assumed his position during the monarchy of David, the fourteenth. This further emphasizes the significance of the fifteenth of the month, the day when the moon is full.

The fullness of the moon is relevant to each individual in his service of G‑d. The Jewish calendar is fixed according to the moon and as we recite in the liturgy, Israel is “destined to be renewed as she.” Just as the moon follows a pattern of increasing its brilliance until the fifteenth of the month when it shines in its fullness; similarly, each Jew should continue to add light until at the fifteenth of the month, his light is “full.”

The prophet Yeshayahu declares: “Arise, shine. Your light has come and the glory of the L‑rd shines upon you.” The light a Jew possesses stems from “the glory of the L‑rd,” G‑d’s light. Nevertheless, it becomes “your light,” the personal light of every Jew.

How? Torah is also called “light,” for Torah and G‑d are one. Through Torah, a Jew becomes one with G‑d. Thus, G‑d’s light can become the light of each Jew which should be increased every day till on the fifteenth of the month it shines in total fullness.

Thus, the fifteenth of Tammuz, a month singled out as the month of the Previous Rebbe’s redemption is a proper time to emphasize the importance of the practices instituted by the Previous Rebbe. Those practices can be categorized according to the “three pillars on which the world stands: Torah, service (prayer), and deeds of kindness.”

In the realm of Torah:

The Previous Rebbe instituted the study of Chitas: Chumash, Tehillim (Psalms), and Tanya on a daily basis.

[Even though, as mentioned above, Psalms has a dimension of prayer,] it is still considered as Torah. As we learn from the verse: “May the words of my mouth be acceptable,” our Sages commented that David requested (and his request was granted) that the recitation of Psalms be considered equal to the study of the most difficult subjects in the realm of Torah.

In the realm of prayer:

In general, there is a need for a stress on prayer in a minyan and emphasis on the preparation for prayer. This implies, not only a stress on studying before prayer, but also emphasis placed on one’s intention in prayer. One must “Know before whom you stand.”

(Indeed, the Rambam writes that keeping in mind the meaning of the words of prayer is an absolute requirement only in the first line of the Shema and in the first blessing in the Shemoneh Esreh. In contrast, if one lacks the overall intention implied by “Know before Whom you stand,” one’s prayer is entirely unacceptable.)

However, beyond these requirements, the Previous Rebbe placed an emphasis on “Avodas HaTefillah,” the service of prayer as explained at length in his Maamarim and Sichos.

In the realm of deeds of kindness:

It is well known the effort which the Previous Rebbe invested in all projects connected with “deeds of kindness.”

In order to emphasize these three services, all three will be conducted within this farbrengen. A number of aspects of Torah, including points from the Torah of the Previous Rebbe, have been discussed. The farbrengen will conclude with the Maariv service. Also, before that conclusion, money will be distributed to each individual as “Shlichus Mitzvah Gelt,” in order that they act as agents to give this money to Tzedakah.

The money will be distributed to all: men, women, and children, for the Previous Rebbe’s redemption affected them all. In particular, in regard to children, it is known that the Previous Rebbe’s arrest came about as a result of his efforts in the education of Jewish children.

May these efforts hasten the end of the exile. May they negate all the undesirable aspects of the exile to the point where all that is necessary is to insert an alef, a reflection of G‑d, into the word golah (exile). The result will be redemption, the complete and ultimate redemption, after which no exile will follow.

3. As mentioned above, the Previous Rebbe instituted the practice of studying the daily portion of Chumash. Accordingly, it is proper to focus on at least one element of the portion connected with the present day, the fifth Aliyah of the portion of Balak.

That portion contains the verse: “He does not look at iniquity in Yaakov,... the L‑rd his G‑d is with him and the love of the King is his.”

Here, we see the connection to the Previous Rebbe’s imprisonment and redemption and, in particular, to the prayer and promise of the verse: “May the L‑rd our G‑d be with us as He was with our fathers.”

On the above verse, Rashi comments:

He does not look at iniquity in Yaakov, — even when they transgress His will, He is not exacting with them.

the Lord his God is with him — even though they anger and embitter Him, He does not depart from them.

and the love of the King is his — the Hebrew should be rendered as “desire” or “love.”

Onkelos interprets the verse similarly...

G‑d loves the Jewish people. Even when “because of our sins, we have been exiled from our land,” the bond between G‑d and the Jews still exists. Wherever a Jew is found, G‑d is not only “with him,” but “his G‑d.” This expression indicates, as implied by the Shulchan Aruch, G‑d is his strength and power. Furthermore, G‑d relates to our people with love, and, in particular, “the love of the King.”

It must be noted that these statements are clearly stated in the Torah, and thus, accepted by all Jews. Furthermore, they were authored by Bilaam, a gentile. Even they appreciate the nature of a Jew.

* * *

4. Shortly after the fifteenth of Tammuz, the three weeks associated with the destruction of the Temple begin. The destruction of the Temple came about because of the sin of unfounded hatred. Hence, in order to nullify the source of the exile, it is proper at present to increase all activities connected with Ahavas Yisrael, the love of one’s fellow Jew. This includes a stress on studying Torah and performing mitzvos in a communal manner.

Similarly, because one is genuinely concerned for the benefit of one’s fellow Jew, one should be involved in the campaign for Jewish education, and similarly, all other aspects of the ten point Mitzvah campaign.

(Also, it is fitting to mention the importance of contributing to Kupas Rabbeinu as customary in connection with Yud-Beis Tammuz.)

May these activities hasten the coming of the time when, in the Rambam’s words: “These fasts will be transformed into festivals and days of joy and rejoicing.”

[The Rebbe also spoke at length regarding the Previous Rebbe’s library and the purchase of land on which a Kollel would be built in Eretz Yisrael as a “heritage” for the Previous Rebbe.]