Gimmel Tammuz (the third day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, observed this year on June 13, 2021) is the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, who is widely considered the most influential Jewish leader of modern times.

The Rebbe’s legacy is immense and continues to expand, rippling outward in concentric circles of faith, love, growth, inspiration, and learning.

On the day of his passing we contemplate the lessons he imparted and how we can help bring his vision of universal G‑dly awareness closer to fruition. The day’s observance typically includes communal gatherings and prayer, as well as visits to the Rebbe’s resting place in Queens, New York.

This year, as we prepare to mark the 27th anniversary, we recognize that some of us will be observing at home.

Looking for ways to funnel this day’s inspiration into your home? Here are our suggestions, many of which are the same as normal times:

1. Light a Candle

After night has fallen and Shabbat has ended, light a 24-hour candle. If it is not difficult, this should be of beeswax. (The Hebrew word for beeswax—שעוה—is an acronym for the verse הקיצו ורננו שוכני עפר, “Those who dwell in the dust shall rise and sing,” a reference to the resurrection of the dead.)

2. Sing a Nigun of the Rebbe

The Rebbe taught 13 melodies—called nigunim—in the early years of his leadership. In chassidic tradition, it’s believed that a teacher makes his soul accessible through the nigunim he teaches, enabling us to connect to him in ways that we cannot connect through his verbal teachings. You’ll find recordings of all 13 melodies here.

3. Study the Rebbe’s Teachings

After each of the three daily prayers, Maariv, Shacharit and Minchah, study a portion of VeAtah Tetzaveh, the last Chassidic discourse the Rebbe personally distributed, and which is seen as a sort of final will and testament.

4. Study Tanya

Study a chapter of Tanya before you start your prayers in the morning, and then study another chapter after the afternoon prayers.

5. Give Charity

Donate (online or by placing money into a charity box) to institutions and causes related to the Rebbe. The Rebbe emphasized that you should do this on behalf of yourself and every member of your household.

6. Write a Prayer Petition

The traditional letter that is written to a tzaddik, even after his passing, is called a pidyon nefesh, abbreviated as pahn. In it, we ask the tzaddik to arouse heavenly compassion for our souls, and for all those close to us. After the morning prayers and study of the maamar, read your pidyon nefesh while visualizing the Rebbe standing before you.

Leave the pidyon nefesh between the pages of a maamar or some written teaching of the Rebbe. Then send it to the Rebbe’s burial place at Montefiore Cemetery in Queens to be placed there. You can send your letter via online form or email.

7. Study Mishnah

Mishnah is spelled with the same Hebrew letters as neshamah, the Divine soul within each of us. Thus, over the 24-hour period, study chapters of Mishnah related to the Rebbe’s name. This means that each chapter begins with a letter of the Rebbe’s name. (To make that easier for you, we have arranged these chapters in order for you. Click here to download.)

8. Discuss the Rebbe and His Love for All

Set a time during the 24-hour period to sit down with your family and talk about the Rebbe, his ideals, and the work to which he devoted his entire life. Under normal circumstances, we also make the effort to do this on a communal level, in synagogues and other institutions. This year, we can do the same via phone, Zoom, Facebook Live or whatever other means we have at our disposal. Find a story or teaching of the Rebbe that you connect with, (particularly one that illustrates his unconditional love for all people), and blast it out to your social media circle.

9. Join a Virtual Farbrengen

Gimmel Tammuz is a time when communities gather for a chassidic gathering called a farbrengen—a unique blend of storytelling, teaching, singing, and sharing, during which participants inspire themselves and each other. You can join an online farbrengen, with world-class scholars, speakers, and musicians.

10. Make a Plan

Introspection is nice, but action is vital. Now is the time to make concrete decisions regarding things you can improve, in terms of both your Divine service and how you interact with those around you.

But don’t limit yourself to yourself.

The Rebbe taught us to take Judaism to the streets and share it with others. In these challenging times, it may not be possible to physically approach people and offer them Shabbat candles to light or tefillin to put on, nor may people be comfortable inviting you into their home to affix a mezuzah. But through the gift of digital communication, with some perseverance and creativity, we can surely share one or more of the Rebbe’s 10 mitzvah campaigns with others. Now is the time to make this a reality!