1. Our sages (Berachos 31a) declared, “A man should not take leave of his friend except through a statement of Halachah, because through that statement he will remember him.” The simple explanation of that principle is — that when two Jews part, each one going to fulfill his particular mission in the service of G‑d, they should connect themselves to a statement of Halachah. Thereby, this will cause them to remain at one in a spiritual sense.

At this point, a question arises. If in a spiritual sense the two individuals remain united, why is there a fuss made over their actual parting? However, even though we know that we should regard spiritual matters to be the most important while the physical realm remains secondary in importance, generally our operative consciousness cannot maintain such an awareness. Therefore, when two individuals part, it is necessary to emphasize the inner unity that remains between them. Furthermore, a Jew journeys from place to place as a part of his mission from G‑d. Hence, it would appear that in a spiritual sense as well he is charged with a different mission.1 Therefore, our sages explain that “a man shall not depart,” means that no separation will occur. Even though that in order to create a dwelling place for G‑d in the lower worlds it is necessary to live in separate places, a statement of Halachah2 establishes an eternal bond between all Jews and unites them as a single entity. The statement of Halachah also shows how they can and should accomplish that mission; as our sages (Megillah 28b) commented on the verse (Chabakkuk 3:6), “Halichos (the way of the world) are his. Do not read Halichos but Halachos (Torah laws).” It is Torah and Halachah which give the Jewish people control over the world.

In addition, to that above explanation, we can apply the concept “a man should take leave,...” in an expanded context. The mission which each Jew was created to fulfill does not remain constant. It changes from time to time as the Zohar declares, “Each day performs its own task.” Since the purpose for the creation of every individual is “to serve his Creator,” it follows that as the service required changes; the individual also evolves — each day he is a new person.3

The same concept applies in regard to every month, of the year. Each month has a unique and specific task which is appropriate to its nature. Thus, it follows that there is a change in the nature of an individual from month to month. Therefore, when we enter a new month, we can see a parting between “a man and his friend” in the same person. The individual that was connected with the service of the previous month departs from the one who is charged with the new mission in the month to come. By connecting ourselves to a statement of Halachah we are able to cause the service carried out in the previous month to have a continuous effect in the month to come.

The present day is both Rosh Chodesh Adar and the 30th day of Shvat; connecting both months together. Therefore, we must find a statement of Halachah that will prevent the service of the month of Shvat from becoming separate from the service of the month of Adar.4

This Farbrengen is related to both concepts concerning the departing of individuals. As mentioned above, today is the day when the self-image that is related to Shvat departs from the self-image related to Adar. It also marks the departure of many guests who have come to take part in the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s Yahrzeit.5 Therefore, it is proper to mention a statement of Halachah.

2. The statement of Halachah that is appropriate for the occasion is the Mishnah: “On the first of Adar, (public) announcements are made regarding the Shekalim [the offering given annually by every Jewish male of 20 (according to some opinions, 13) and over] and the Kilayim (the prohibition to grow certain diverse kinds of plants together).

On the surface, this Mishnah provokes a question. Shekalim and Kilayim are two totally different Torah commandments. Furthermore, Shekalim is applicable to every mature male, while the laws of Kilayim apply only to those who own fields or vineyards. On the surface, the Mishnah should have stated “(public) announcements are made regarding Shekalim and (public) announcements are made regarding Kilayim.” Furthermore, if it was necessary to group the two together, it would seem more proper to mention Kilayim first, since chronologically, those laws are applicable before the laws of Shekalim.

These questions can be answered by reviewing the subjects from a deeper perspective. The Mitzvah of Shekalim emphasizes the quality of unity. For that reason, every Jew rich or poor was obligated to give (only) a half-Shekel. Though generally Torah stresses the importance of completeness and of contributing from our nicest and choicest possessions, in this case a half-Shekel is required.6 More could not be given, as the Torah states “the rich shall not add.”7

The Rebbeim have explained that this fact should make us conscious of a deeper relationship. We have two souls: a G‑dly soul and an animal soul. Each is only half of a complete entity. When we give half, i.e. when we dedicate our animal soul to the service of G‑d (a service within our potential); G‑d reveals the powers of the G‑dly soul (which we could not accomplish by virtue of our own efforts). In that same context, a Jew and G‑d together make up one entity. Separately each one is a “half”, giving ourselves over to G‑d, we make G‑d complete and become complete ourselves. Likewise, this concept relates to the principle of8 Jewish unity. When can a Jew become a complete entity, or a full Shekel; when he joins his half Shekel to that of another Jew. Rather than oppose each other, the two halves become fused into one single entity. Furthermore, the Shekalim of the entire Jewish people were collected together and used to buy communal sacrifices. These offerings were considered to have been given by the Jewish people as one single common entity, not a grouping of individuals. Through the union of two Jews together, one holy Shekel is formed and many spiritual influences are brought about.

However, since each Jew was created for the purpose of serving G‑d, it follows that the unique aspects of each persons individual nature are also intended for that purpose. Each one has a particular mission that he must strive to accomplish. For example, in the Temple certain Levi’im were charged with guarding the gates. Others were given the task of chanting during the sacrificial offerings. A strict punishment was meted out, if one would change places with another.

Similarly, a teacher must stand above the level of his students and in the Talmuds words, “cast fear” into them. He cannot regard himself as their equal. Even though through teaching he also receives, nevertheless, he must maintain his stature and authority.

A point of Torah Law exemplifies this concept. Two witnesses are considered a single entity. However, there cannot be a close relationship between both of the witnesses. For example, if they are brothers the testimony is invalid. Why? Because though G‑d is Simple Oneness, He desired to create a world of division. In this realm of division we must see a unity established.

Thus, we see how both aspects, unity and division, are essential to Torah. The human body exemplifies this concept. Each limb is separate and unique. However, they are unified into a single organism with each limb contributing a quality that is lacking in the other.

Thus, the two public announcements are related one to another. Shekalim, which stresses the oneness of the Jewish people, must be coupled with Kilayim which emphasizes their unique, individual characteristics.

This concept was reflected in the Temple offerings. Members of all three classes of Jews: Kohanim, Levi’im, and Israelim, had to be present at the offering. However, each had a particular responsibility: the Kohanim officiated, the Levi’im chanted, and the Israelim attended the services. Their roles could not be interchanged.9 Mixing two entities of different natures, even though each in it’s own right is holy, is opposite to G‑d’s will. Therefore, the unifying qualities of Shekalim have to be balanced by the service of Kilayim.10 However, as in the public announcements, Shekalim the service of unity and kindness must be placed first, and only afterwards is the opposite service of division and severity, applied.11 Therefore, the Talmud gives precedence to “the right hand which draws close” over “the left hand which pushes away.” This principle is of particular importance in regard to education. There, the need for closeness at the beginning is clearly understood.

The combination of these two services will lead to the celebration of Purim, the festival which commemorates how the Jewish people intensified their commitment to Torah. Then, from the redemption of Purim, we will proceed “from one redemption to another” and take part in the Messianic redemption led by Moshiach, speedily in our days.

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3. In a strict sense, we have fulfilled the obligation implied by the statement “one should not depart from his friend without reciting a statement of Halachah” by the above concepts. However, the Previous Rebbe placed a heavy stress on the aspects of deed and action. Therefore, it is proper to emphasize the need for an actual increase in the activities to which the Previous Rebbe devoted himself and demanded from his students and followers.12 Particularly now after a thirty year period has been completed, everyone should increase his own service of Torah and Mitzvos, and see to it that all those who he can influence should increase their service as well.

The Mitteler Rebbe explained that in order to affect a change, it is necessary to meditate not only on the general matter, but also on its particular aspects. If a person feels a responsibility to spread the totality of Torah and Mitzvos, he will become confused by not knowing what to do. Therefore, in connection with the above, it is proper to open thirty new institutions connected with Torah study; beginning from kindergartens for children to learn Aleph-Bais and extending to include the study of Niglah and Chassidus. Also, it is proper to open free-loan funds in places where none exist at present, and expand the already existing funds. Also, it proper for the Kollels, and Yeshivos from Tomchei Temimim; to print at least two collections of Torah essays per year.13

There might be those who protest against the latter practice arguing that it is not customary for Chassidim to do so, and that this publication might lead to egotism and pride. However, these questions were negated many years beforehand. A story of the Mitteler Rebbe expresses this concept. The Mitteler Rebbe put a heavy stress on the dissemination of Chassidus in the broadest manner possible. He ordered the Chassidim who had journeyed to Lubavitch, — that as they would pass through the villages on their way home — that they repeat the discourses of Chassidus heard in Lubavitch. One of the Chassidim protested to the Rebbe that reciting the discourses brought about feelings of pride.

The Mitteler Rebbe answered him, “You will turn into an onion but you must repeat Chassidus.” The Mitteler Rebbe14 used a careful choice of words. Onions generally are not eaten alone; they are used to make another dish tastier. Similarly, an individual must realize that his purpose is to help someone else. For that reason, he is willing to risk and even become involved with undesirable personal qualities. (Here too, the onion is an appropriate example; for an onion brings about tears.) Nevertheless, this risk is worthwhile — because through these efforts valuable results are achieved. (Similarly, by using onions the tastiest dishes are created.) Therefore, now in the present generation which directly precedes the coming of Moshiach, it is most necessary to stress the spreading Torah and Mitzvos in a manner that affects actual deed. Although one must be careful of his own spiritual position; he must also realize that “He who fulfills a Mitzvah will not know evil.” Therefore, even if one feels wary of involving himself in such activities, the Rebbeim and particularly the Previous Rebbe have all advised him to apply himself to the mission of spreading Yiddishkeit; whether it be teaching a young child the Aleph-Bais or teaching a grown-up the Aleph-Bais of Yiddishkeit.

The above is particularly true, now after the 30th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s Yahrzeit. “He will not forsake his following,” and gives us the power to accomplish all matters. It is necessary to spread the Mivtzayim — including Mivtza Ahavas Yisroel (which is uniquely related to Purim). Mivtza Chinuch, Mivtza Torah, Mivtza Tefillin, Mivtza Mezuzah, Mivtza Tzedakah, Bayis Maley Seforim, Mivtza Nairos Shabbos Kodesh, Mivtza Kashrus, and Mivtza Taharas HaMishpachah. Also it is necessary to stress Mivtza Purim, the spreading of the Mitzvos connected with that holiday — Mishloach Manos, Matanos LaEvyonim, and the reading of the Megillah.

4. Trans. Note: The Rebbe Shlita mentioned (note the Sichos of the 5th day of Chanukah) his desire to build two new settlements in Israel. He explained that the Israeli government was slowing down the processing of the permits and forms that are necessary to begin such a project. He claimed that this delay was intentional and had been caused by his own outspoken statements on the issue of the return of the territories conquered in the Six Day War. He expressed his hope that these questions would be resolved in the near future.

5. It is proper to connect every matter with an actual deed, which must be carried out at once. Therefore, it is proper as a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s Yahrzeit, to give every one (both men and women) 300 pennies (three dollars, ten times 30) to be given to Tzedakah. Also in connection with Purim, each head of an institution, Rabbi, or leader will be given a bottle of Mashka. Every one, (men, women and children) should come up in an orderly fashion allowing those who must leave immediately, the opportunity to receive first. And may this add more encouragement to the spreading of Torah and Mitzvos and the spreading of Torah and Mitzvos and the spreading of Chassidus.

Trans. Note: First, the men filed past the Rebbe Shlita. He gave each one 3 dollars and besides giving bottles of Mashka. Afterwards, the women also approached and were given three dollars. Afterwards, the Rebbe declared:

All the above should not cause us to forget about actual deed. Efforts must be made to spread the 10 Mivtzayim, and in particular, Mivtza Purim. May we see how this month, beginning from Rosh Chodesh, will be transformed into gladness and joy. May there be “Light and joy, gladness and honor for the Jews,” so let it be for us. May “there be light in the dwellings of the Jews” in the last days of Galus, and may we proceed from the redemption of Purim to the true and ultimate redemption led by Moshiach.