1. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Rebbe Maharash’s passing on (5643-5743). The Alter Rebbe explains that on a yahrzeit (anniversary of passing on) the soul of a tzaddik experiences “an elevation after elevation to the absolute heights” -to its root and source. Simultaneously, this elevation is revealed below — “all the toil which his soul toiled during lifetime ... is revealed and illuminates ... from above to below ... and effects wonders in the midst of the land.” These two aspects (the immense elevation and its effect below) are expressed in the idea of “effects wonders in the midst of the land”: “Wonders” is an extremely lofty level; and this level is revealed in the “midst of the land” — and in the manner of “effects,” which connotes actual deed.

In addition to this general aspect of a yahrzeit, there is a special distinction uniquely associated with the Rebbe Maharash’s service. His mode of conduct, the previous Rebbe related, was similar to that of the Baal Shem Tov. In similar vein, a famous dictum of his was that although the world thinks otherwise, he says that a person’s conduct should in the first place always be transcendent (of difficulties, obstacles etc.). That is, not to first try to battle against obstacles, and failing that then transcend them; but to transcend them in the first place. This again expresses the synthesis of the above two aspects: Conduct similar to the Baal Shem Tov (renown for his miracles and wonders) and “in the first place be transcendent” are extremely lofty concepts; but simultaneously, such conduct is revealed below, affecting this physical world.

The above (concerning the mode of conduct of the Rebbe Maharash) applies to all the Rebbeim, beginning with the Baal Shem Tov, the first leader of Chassidus, and until the previous Rebbe. As explained above, there is a special connection between the Rebbe Maharash and the Baal Shem Tov. Likewise, there is a special connection between the Rebbe Maharash and the previous Rebbe, as the following story testifies: When the previous Rebbe visited Yerushalayim in the Holy land, a Jew who had seen the Rebbe Maharash visited him. When he saw the previous Rebbe he immediately fainted. When asked the reason, he answered that when he saw the previous Rebbe’s face — he saw in him the Rebbe Maharash (i.e. they looked exactly alike).

Thus we see that conduct transcending limits and simultaneously affecting this physical world existed by all the Rebbeim. This applies both to their conduct and their Torah. The Baal Shem Tov’s conduct transcended all limits, and simultaneously affected actual deed — the synthesis of these two aspects. Likewise with his Torah: The Baal Shem Tov brought the simplest Jew close to Torah, to the extent of learning Torah with small children. Simultaneously, he revealed Chassidus, the innermost secrets of the Torah; and to the extent that Chassidus Chabad scrupulously examines even a single word of his.

Likewise with all the Rebbeim extending to the previous Rebbe: The previous Rebbe was imprisoned, and in prison his conduct was similar to that of the Baal Shem Tov (transcending limits). Again, the synthesis of these two aspects: conduct transcending the limits of the world being revealed in the lowest place (in prison). Likewise with his Torah: While revealing the innermost secrets of Chassidus, he engaged in the education of Jewish children, beginning with teaching the Aleph-Bais. Indeed, it is told that the previous Rebbe himself once wrote the Aleph-Bais on a post-card.

These times urgently need the concept of “effects salvation in the midst of the earth,” and therefore, on the Rosh Hashanah of the 100th year of the Rebbe Maharash’s passing on, this concept is effected in the loftiest fashion. It is explained in various places that the number one hundred corresponds to the ultimate in perfection, and hence this year, the 100th anniversary of the Rebbe Maharah’s passing on, has a special distinction. It follows then that everything this year must be permeated with the mode of conduct of the Rebbe Maharash — “in the first place always be transcendent.”

The concept of “effects salvation in the midst of the earth” in the manner of “in the first place be transcendent” which is effected on this Rosh Hashanah, is also expressed in the conduct of the world — as is told concerning the Rebbe Maharash’s conduct regarding the government. The obligation to “seek the welfare of the city” applies only when it does not contradict Judaism, Torah and mitzvos. But when it comes to Torah and mitzvos, then, even in those things which are but a “preparation to a mitzvah” (such as chopping the wood to make glowing coals to make metal to perform a circumcision), we are not affected at all by the government’s conduct.

In addition to the general state of Jews in exile concerning the nations of the world, the concept of “effects salvation in the midst of the earth” in the manner of “in the first place be transcendent” applies also to a Jew’s individual service — to his personal fulfillment of Torah, and his efforts in behalf of others, the dissemination of Torah and Judaism. Indeed, the revelation of “wonders in the midst of the earth” is not only in spiritual matters, but also in material things — G‑d’s blessing for children, life, and ample sustenance, transcending all limits. In plain terms: G‑d’s blessing that we be inscribed and sealed for good on Rosh Hashanah, particularly for the complete and true redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

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2. The Rebbe Rashab was accustomed every Rosh Hashanah to accept upon himself a further “adornment” (i.e. to be extra meticulous in the performance) of a mitzvah. It is therefore proper for each person to accept upon himself — without vowing to — an extra “adornment” of a mitzvah.

It is now appropriate to mention the study of ChitasChumash, Tehillim, Tanya; and “Keren Hashanah.” Likewise, to remind and encourage everyone to ensure that all Jews are united in the general Sefer Torahs by purchasing a letter.

May it be G‑d’s will that the above be done with joy and a good heart; and since joy breaks through all barriers, they will transcend all limits.

Since we are now preparing to go from the service of Rosh Hashanah to the service of the entire year — may it be G‑d’s will that it be in the manner of “You shall go out in joy, and you shall come in joy.” Principally, to “go out in joy” from the exile, and to “come in joy” to our Holy land, the “land on which ... the eyes of the L‑rd your G‑d are continually upon it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” This will be in the manner of “a great congregation will return here,” together with all their spiritual and physical wealth.