1. Yud-Bais Tammuz this year is on Shabbos. Since Shabbos blesses all the days of the week, the farbrengen being held today, Tuesday, is connected with Yud-Bais Tammuz. Moreover, today is the 15th of Tammuz, when the moon is fullest, symbolizing that the month and its concepts (Yud-Bais Tammuz) are now full and complete. And although it is now night (and therefore technically not the 15th anymore) in matters of sanctity the night belongs to the previous day.

The name of this month, Tammuz, is found in Scripture as the name of an idol. But since it was used by Jews as the name of a month before it was used for idolatrous purposes, it was kept on being used. For as our Sages said: “Should G‑d destroy His world because of fools?” — Should the name of the month be changed just because some people use it for the name of an idol?! Indeed, in Jewish usage, Tammuz alludes to the strong revelations of G‑dliness. G‑d is referred to as sun — “the L‑rd G‑d is sun and shield,” and the heat of the sun is strongest in Tammuz. Thus the central concept of this month is the strong revelation of G‑dliness, which is the antidote to the tragic events of the 17th of Tammuz.

This is also the reason why the days of redemption of Yud-Bais and Yud-Gimmel Tammuz are before the 17th of Tammuz. Yud-Bais Tammuz celebrates the release of the previous Rebbe from prison, the idea of tragedy converted into joy. Thus it acts as a preparation to the conversion of the tragedy of the 17th of Tammuz into a day of joy and happiness.

This is the idea of G‑d preparing the remedy before the affliction. This means not only the remedy is at hand when affliction strikes, but the affliction does not strike in the first place. This is stated explicitly in Scripture: “All the afflictions which I placed on Egypt I will not place upon you, for I am the L‑rd your healer.” For since Jews cannot endure the distress for even a moment, G‑d does not allow it to happen. Thus, when Jews reflect upon the 17th of Tammuz and the 3 weeks in their true light — as they will be in the future — then they really are converted into days of joy and gladness, for “a person is where his thoughts are.”

2. The previous Rebbe worked with self-sacrifice (which led to his arrest and subsequent release). This is associated with today’s portion of Chumash, which talks of Eretz Yisroel being divided among the tribes by a lottery — “With a lottery the land shall be divided.” In terms of man’s spiritual service, a “lottery” corresponds to self-sacrifice. A lottery does not run on logic or wisdom; and service with self-sacrifice means a person transcends or rises above his rational intellect to act with self-sacrifice. The meaning then of “With a lottery the land shall be divided” is that the spiritual conquest and division in man’s service must be preceded by a “lottery” — by self-sacrifice transcending rational intellect. Then subsequent service with rationality and logic, permeated as it then is with self-sacrifice, will be whole and perfect.

This is alluded to in the two ways the land was divided. 1) As above, “With a lottery shall the land be divided,” corresponding to the service of self-sacrifice transcending rational intellect; 2) “To the more, you shall give a greater inheritance, and to the few, you shall give a lesser inheritance,” which corresponds to rational, ordered service.

While the service of a “lottery” is indispensable, rational, ordered service also has its place. That is, while every iota of man’s service must be permeated with self-sacrifice, which transcends all limits — and in this respect all mitzvos are treated equally — there are nevertheless differences between mitzvos; and therefore an ordered rational service, commensurate with the particular mitzvah, is necessary. Some need to be fulfilled in the manner of “To the more you shall give a greater inheritance.” For example, Torah study is in the class of “more” — its peak of fulfillment is not when done as an individual but when “Ten sit and learn Torah;” likewise, prayer is also with a minyan, ten Jews. On the other hand, some mitzvos are characterized by “few,” meaning they have definite, prescribed limits. Tefillin must contain only four parshahs; and if one wishes to add more, not only has he not fulfilled the mitzvah of tefillin, but he has transgressed the command “You shall not add to it.”

Similarly, while Torah obligates man to support and feed his family, he simultaneously has an obligation to support the needy. Support of oneself and family must be in the manner of “To the few you shall give a lesser inheritance,” meaning that one should take only necessities for oneself, and the rest give to the needy.

But again, service commensurate to each particular mitzvah must be preceded by self-sacrifice which transcends all limits. Once this service permeates one’s entire being, a proper ordered service can then follow.

The practical lesson from above: G‑d’s command “To these you shall divide the land” refers to every Jew, great and small. Eretz Yisroel is an “eternal inheritance” for all Jews, and therefore of every Jew it can be said “To these you shall divide the land.” Likewise, then, the method of dividing the land — “With a lottery the land shall be divided” — has application to every Jew. Moreover, the terminology employed by the Torah to express a command also implies an assurance. Thus “to these you shall divide the land” and “With a lottery the land shall be divided” is not only a command but also an assurance that the land will most certainly be divided by a lottery.

So too in regard to the spiritual counterpart of dividing the land by “lottery” (as above, the service of self-sacrifice transcending rational intellect): Even a Jew who at present does not even know the rudiments of Judaism, will, eventually, reach the level of service of a “lottery” — self-sacrifice. He too has a portion in the land, and he too has the level of a “lottery” in his soul.

This then is the connection between the daily portion of the parshah and Yud-Bais Tammuz: Both are associated with the service of self-sacrifice.

3. The above is also associated with Tuesday, the day on which “it was good” was said twice — “good for heaven and good for creatures.” The difference between heavens and creatures exists also within man: Spiritual things, soul matters, are the level of “heavens,” and physical, bodily matters are the level of “creatures.” This difference also exists in Torah and mitzvos itself: Torah is the level of “heavens” and mitzvos are the level of “creatures.” Likewise in man’s spiritual service: The service of a “lottery” (transcending intellect) is the level of “heaven,” and the service of “the many ... and the few” is the level of “creatures.”

Tuesday, the day which is “good for heaven and good for creatures” emphasizes that service must be in both spheres. This is similar to the idea discussed above in today’s portion of the parshah, which teaches that service must be both in the form of a “lottery” and also that of “the many ... and the few.”

“Good” (as in “good for heaven and good for creatures”) has a special connection to the 17th of Tammuz. 17 in Hebrew numerology is “tov” which means “good.” This shows that the tragic events of the 17th of Tammuz are, in their inner content, for the purpose of the great joy and rejoicing that will occur when the 17th of Tammuz is converted into a holiday.

This can be associated with the idea of Yud-Bais Tammuz. “The only good is Torah,” and within the realm of Torah itself, the “good” refers to the esoteric, Chassidus. And the principal mission of the previous Rebbe was the dissemination of Chassidus to the widest extent.

Dissemination of Chassidus is based on the principle of Ahavas Yisroel. The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidus, would, hand in hand with drawing near the simple folk to Judaism, first and foremost help them in their material needs. Then he would draw them nearer to Judaism to the extent of eventually revealing Chassidus to them. Likewise, in the spiritual aspect itself, the Baal Shem Tov, before he was revealed, was an assistant teacher to young children; and only afterward did he begin to disseminate Chassidus — all of which emphasizes his Ahavas Yisroel to all types of Jews. Indeed, even after he began spreading Chassidus, it was in such a way that each person could accept it on his own individual level — again, the idea of Ahavas Yisroel.

Thus we see that the general revelation of Chassidus is in the manner of Ahavas Yisroel; and since the reason for our exile is because of the sin of baseless hatred, the spreading of Chassidus with Ahavas Yisroel (the work of the previous Rebbe) completely eradicates the cause of the exile, and hence the effect (the exile itself). That is, we convert the events of the 17th of Tammuz to “good.” Then we merit the building of the Bais Hamikdosh with the coming of our righteous Moshiach — now.


4. The Alter Rebbe explains that on every Rosh Hashanah “a new light descends greater-than was ever before;” and, as a result, all matters of that year are elevated. Likewise in regard to Yomim Tovim, in our case Yud-Bais Tammuz: This year should see a fresh inspiration and elevation, for it marks the 55th celebration of the redemption of Yud-Bais Tammuz.

The “Shefa Tal” explains that the number 100 divides into 45 and 55, each number representing a different level in awe and fear of G‑d — higher and lower awe. Thus, on the 55th anniversary of Yud-Bais Tammuz, the distinction of the number 55 demands we draw a greater inspiration from all matters associated with Yud-Bais Tammuz.

There is also a lesson to be derived from today’s portion of the weekly parshah — the fourth of parshas Pinchus. In the previous day’s portion it relates the request and demand of the daughters of Tzelofchod that they be given their father’s portion in the land (since he had no sons) and Moshe then brought their cause before G‑d. Today’s portion then states: “G‑d said to Moshe: The daughters of Tzelofchod speak correctly. You shall certainly give them a possession of an inheritance ...”

Rashi, on the words “The daughters of Tzelofchod speak correctly,” comments “Thus this section is written before Me on high:” That is, although this law of inheritance was written before G‑d on high, the daughters of Tzelofchod had the merit that they should cause it to be revealed in Torah. As Rashi puts it: “The daughters of Tzelofchod were found worthy, and it was written through them.” This emphasizes the great part women have in Torah, and they too are obligated to learn those parts of Torah that they need to know.

This is the connection of today’s portion of Yud-Bais Tammuz. The previous Rebbe many times emphasized the crucial necessity of Torah study by women, including the study of Chassidus. Women must observe the six mitzvos whose obligations are continuous, which includes the obligation to love and fear G‑d. Since the study of Chassidus is the way to reach this love and fear, they are obligated to study Chassidus.

Just as women are associated with the “Torah Campaign,” so too are they associated with the other campaigns: Ahavas Yisroel: G‑d has given women greater emotional powers than men, and therefore they have greater prowess in Ahavas Yisroel; education: In their early years, children need their mother’s guidance every moment; tefillin; mezuzah, tzedakah, house full of Jewish books; kashrus, family purity and Shabbos and Yom Tov lights.

The unique distinction of women is emphasized in the general idea of the Giving of the Torah, when Moshe was instructed to first speak to the women, and then to the men. Likewise in the idea of redemption; our Sages say that the Jews were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the righteous women of that generation. And so it will be in the merit of the righteous women of our generation that the true and complete redemption will occur, as stated: “As in the days of your going out of Egypt I will show you wonders,” indicating the future redemption will be similar to the redemption from Egypt.

May it be G‑d’s will that through women’s efforts we very quickly merit the true and complete redemption, when “with our youth and our elders, our sons and our daughters” we will go to greet our righteous Moshiach, and together with him go to our Holy Land — the whole people with the whole Torah to the whole land.