1. This farbrengen is related to the celebration of the liberation of the Mitteler Rebbe on the tenth of Kislev. That celebration is connected to the holiday of Yud-Tes Kislev,1 the Alter Rebbe’s day of liberation. Hence, Chassidim refer to the month of Kislev as “the month of liberation.”

From the above, as from every aspect of Torah, “a lesson must be derived that affects our actions, for ‘deed is most essential.’“ The Baal Shem Tov taught that we must learn a lesson in the service of G‑d from everything we see or hear. Each day we must derive a new lesson, as the Zohar declares, “Each day performs its service.”2 This is related to the obligation we have to constantly develop innovative concepts in Torah study. Even though the repetition of Torah is considered Torah study, we are also obligated to constantly discover new Torah concepts.3

The relationship of Yud Kislev to all of our lives is further emphasized by the fact that the Mitteler Rebbe was both a Tzaddik and a Nassi (a leader). Rashi (Bamidbar 21:21) teaches “that a Nassi of the generation is like the entire generation, for the leader is the whole.” Hence, his day of liberation affects them, bringing about redemption for them as well. Redemption involves a greater opportunity for self-expression and upliftedness. A person leaves his previous position to the point where he feels that he is leaving Egypt, transcending all boundaries and limitations.4

This lesson is also connected with the weekly Torah portion, Parshas Vayeitze. That portion begins, “And Ya’akov left Beersheva and went towards Charan.” That verse describes a process undergone by every Jewish soul. Beersheva represents the heart of Eretz Yisroel, Charan — the (instigator of G‑d’s) wrath in the world. The Jewish soul descends from “G‑d’s throne” into the physical world. However, that descent is charged with a mission and a purpose to make the world “a dwelling place for G‑d in the lower worlds.” Through this service, each Jew will achieve success as the Torah declares in regard to Ya’akov, “And the man expanded very much.” Similarly, every Jew will find success in his study of Torah and in his service of prayer, fulfillment of Mitzvos, and involvement with worldly things. This will also lead to the ultimate blessing, the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

2. The Mitteler Rebbe’s day of redemption (Yud Kislev) directly follows and thus comes as a continuation of his birthday and Yahrzeit on the ninth of Kislev. There is obviously a connection between these two days.5 The interrelation between the two can be seen from the fact that in the Minchah prayers of the ninth of Kislev, no Tachnun is recited because of the influence of the tenth of Kislev (the holiday of redemption on which no Tachnun is said).

The connection between the two can be explained as follows: On one’s birthday the spiritual source of one’s soul shines powerfully. Similarly, on the day of one’s redemption, one’s spiritual source shines powerfully to the point where it is released from its previous position, a position of exile, and experiences a redemption.

As mentioned above, the Mitteler Rebbe’s birthday is related to his Yahrzeit. In his case, the statement of our sages, “The Holy One Blessed Be He measures out the years of the righteous from day to day, and from month to month” was fulfilled in a revealed manner. This statement was also fulfilled in regard to Moshe Rabbeinu (who was born and passed away on the seventh of Adar).6 Nevertheless, even though this quality was unique, possessed by only a few individuals, these events relate to all of us. This is particularly true in view of our sages’ statement, “A Nassi (leader) is everything.” All the aspects of a leader are drawn down to his followers forever. Even after a Tzaddik’s passing, he can influence his followers. The Tikkunei Zohar declares that after Moshe Rabbeinu’s passing, a reflection of his soul radiates in each generation to the entire Jewish people. Similarly, each Nassi remains a faithful shepherd, tending to his flock even after he has passed away.

In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains that on the day of a Tzaddik’s passing, the totality of his service becomes revealed and manifest within this world in a manner which “brings salvation in the depths of the earth.” Each year on a Tzaddik’s Yahrzeit, “these days are remembered and carried out,” and his spiritual influence radiates to his followers, enabling them to carry out their decisions and bring them into effect.7 This particularly applies to one’s decisions to spread “the wellsprings of Chassidus outward,” for these are the activities which are specifically related to the Mitteler Rebbe’s birthday, Yahrzeit, and the day of his redemption. This, in turn, will bring about a situation in which “my soul will be redeemed in peace” in the ultimate and true redemption led by Moshiach speedily in our days.

3. Each Nassi has a unique quality of his own. Even though one assumed the position of Nassi as the successor to the previous Nassi, he still possesses his own individual character, adding to and enhancing the service of his predecessor, revealing and bringing into expression qualities that were previously hidden. A parallel to this principle can be found in the statement, “every new concept which an experienced student will discover was given to Moshe.” On the surface, the discovery of a new concept removes one from the category of student. Nevertheless, the statement emphasizes that even when one has reached this stage, he is still considered a student, (a benefactor from the insights of his teacher).

The unique quality of the Mitteler Rebbe was that he intensified the spreadings of the teachings of Chassidus. The Rebbeim explained that the Alter Rebbe paralleled the Sefirah of Chochmah (wisdom) while the Mitteler Rebbe paralleled the Sefirah of Binah (understanding). Binah develops from Chochmah as a river widens and develops from a stream. The ability for Binah to enlarge and develop its source stems from the fact that it is rooted in a higher level of holiness. Similarly, the Mitteler Rebbe expanded the teachings of Chassidus. He recited Chassidus at great length, to a much greater extent than had those before him. Similarly, in regard to the publishing of Chassidic texts, the Mitteler Rebbe made great efforts, printing more Seforim than the Rebbeim who preceded and succeeded him.8 These efforts were particularly important, for the publication of texts allowed the teachings to be disseminated to a broad audience, even to those who lived in distant places. (The concept of distance can apply in a spiritual sense as well, referring to those who are far and removed from Judaism.) Without books, it was necessary to spread Chassidus through emissaries. However, through the publication of Chassidic texts, it became possible to disseminate the teachings of Chassidus in a broad manner.

The above provides us all, even the most simple, with a lesson. Our study of Chassidus must be in an expanded manner. Furthermore, the growth must be “from the river itself” independent of its source.

The above is particularly related to the celebration of Yud Kislev this year, which falls on Friday. On the first Friday, the sixth day of creation, the expression, “and G‑d saw it was good” is repeated a second time. The repetition of that expression implies a two-fold good — “good to the Heavens and good to the creatures.” The latter implies an obligation to reach out to others. We must not be content with our service, bur rather must extend ourselves to others, even to another person who is far removed, even to someone on the level of creatures i.e. an individual whose only redeeming quality is that he is G‑d’s creation.

Even though we are in the later generations and on a low spiritual level, we must spread the teachings of Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s inner secrets) throughout our generation. We must do so in an expansive manner, following the example of the Mitteler Rebbe. The above is also related to the spreading of Nigleh (the revealed, exoteric branch of Torah study) for the two are connected like a soul and body. The latter is also related to the Mitteler Rebbe, who demonstrated greatness in this field as well.

The above must be expressed in actual deed. We must increase our own Torah study, in both Nigleh and Pnimiyus HaTorah, in an expansive manner. In this manner it will effect our performance of Mitzvos, as our sages declared, “Great is study because it brings about deed.” Thus, our performance of Mitzvos will grow and increase, and may this lead to the time when “I will cause the spirit of impurity to pass away from the earth.”

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4. The Mitteler Rebbe was the successor to the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe was particularly connected with the land of Israel. In his letters, he writes that the merit of the charity which he gave to Israel was the force which brought about his release from prison. On one hand, it was the direct cause for the imprisonment. The fact that he sent money to support the Kollels there was denounced as treason to the Russian government. Nevertheless, in truth its merit brought about the Alter Rebbe’s release. The Mitteler Rebbe and the other Rebbeim who followed him, worked to strengthen the study and fulfillment of Mitzvos in Israel and sent emissaries to live there and work on such projects. However, the Mitteler Rebbe was unique in this matter. He himself purchased land in Israel, in Hebron, and sent money to construct a building there. He sent Chassidim to settle there and in other places in Israel. (When they protested, asking how they could leave Russia and thus forfeit their opportunity to hear Chassidus, the Mitteler Rebbe promised that he would write books for them and send them to Israel.) Hence, today is also an appropriate time to stress the importance of Israel and in particular of Hebron. [Trans. Note: The Rebbe Shlita continued speaking at length about the situation in Israel.]