“We should know that we had a great Rebbe, and that we still have a great Rebbe … one who asked and received, and continues to request blessing and success for every Jew, especially those who are close to him.”

—The Rebbe, in a letter, 5710/1950

One outstanding characteristic of the Rebbe was his hiskashrus - his deep bond and utter dedication - to his own Rebbe, his sainted father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of righteous memory, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Referencing sources throughout the Torah, the Rebbe expounded upon the concept of hiskashrus, its need and the vital role it plays in Jewish life.

The Torah refers to Joshua as “meshores Moshe” – the servant of Moses, about whom the Torah testifies, “He did not budge from [Moses’] tent.” The Rebbe was the same – he never ceased to be in the presence of his own Rebbe, even after his predecessor’s passing.

Emphasizing the importance of devotion to one’s Rebbe, the Rebbe cited the Mechilta (a Talmudic commentary on the Torah) on the verse, “And they believed in G‑d and in Moses, His servant,” to the effect that belief and trust in Moses is critically important to nurturing and facilitating belief in G‑d.

A Jew is obligated to serve G‑d on his own, utilizing his own intelligence and emotions. Nevertheless, a human being confronted with ongoing physical, material, emotional, intellectual, and environmental challenges cannot rise above them all and transform them into goodness and holiness without being energized by a loftier, more transcendent force. This is what a Rebbe is – a neshamah, a soul of a higher order, for whom the entire world with all its challenges are as naught, and who activates that perception in all who are connected to him.

A Tzadik’s Presence

Even after his father-in-law’s passing, the Rebbe eclipsed himself under the mantle of his Rebbe, whom he considered the source of his spiritual energy and the inspiration for his mission.

The Rebbe would frequent the resting place of the previous Rebbe. When approached for blessings, his usual response was; “azkir al hatziyun” – I will mention your request at the resting place of the Rebbe, for blessings and intercession on your behalf.

The Rebbe expounded on the age-old Kabbalistic precept that a tzadik remains present in this world even after his passing, and that in fact, being without physical limitations, he is present with greater vigor - in the sense that his influence and blessings are even more effective.

Even forty years into his own leadership, his Rebbe’s presence seemed always to be there to guide, to energize, to bless and to intercede on behalf of the world.

Today, too, whether for a blessing, to share a simchah, or to unburden their souls, Jews from all walks of life gravitate to the Rebbe’s resting place, where they seek assurance from the inner bond that continues to fortify them.

It is this sense of connection with the Rebbe that inspires hundreds of young couples to go out on Shlichus – to fulfill the Rebbe’s lifelong desire to actualize the purpose for which the world was created: to help bring about the day when “the knowledge of G‑d will fill the Earth, as water covers the sea.”

The Rebbe’s goal was to remove the barrier that separates heaven and earth, to reveal the G‑dly essence of every phenomenon, to demonstrate the truth that unites all of creation.

The fruits of the Rebbe’s efforts are manifest. But it remains for us to complete the task – to finally and completely bring heaven down to earth.

“It is incumbent on every individual … to strengthen one’s bonds to him … to meditate and resolve in mind and heart, that the shepherd, our leader, has not deserted his flock, and now, too, he stands and carries out his sacred service to protect them and influence all their needs both material and spiritual.”

—From the Rebbe’s letter, 25 Adar 5710 / 1950

“The Zohar states … ‘A departed Tzaddik can be found in all the realms more so than during his (physical) lifetime’. The Alter Rebbe expounds on its meaning; that the Tzaddik is active and influential, even in this world, more than he was previously …’ ”

—From the Rebbe’s letter, 13 Sivan 5711 / 1951

“I am perplexed … as to why you don’t seek reasons to be at the Rebbe’s resting place … one should seize this opportunity to be at the resting place and to refresh those bright days in which you once merited to be.”

—From the Rebbe’s letter, 16 Kislev 5713 / 1952