This volume of In the Garden of the Torah is being published in the days associated with Yud Shvat. There is an obvious connection between the two, because Yud Shvat is associated with the maamarim authored by the Previous Rebbe, and the Rebbe, entitled Basi LeGani, “I came into my garden.”

As emphasized by the Rebbe on many occasions, a garden is a place of pleasure and relaxation, a place where a person lets down his inhibitions and takes delights in his surrounding and in his company.

The Midrash on which the maamar is based states that our world is G‑d’s garden; it is a beautiful world which He shares with His beloved, the Jewish people.

This concept is complemented by the name “In the Garden of the Torah,” for it is the Torah which serves as the medium to bring out those dimensions of our existence which offer the spiritual repose and enjoyment befitting G‑d’s garden. It is the responsibility of mankind to perform the Divine service necessary to transform the world from its presents state, where to continue the analogy there are patches of weeds and filth which mar the garden to its ultimate state of fulfillment when the good and truth invested by G‑d in our world will bloom fully in the Era of the Redemption.

The maamarim of Yud-Shvat (and particularly, the maamar delivered by the Rebbe on Yud Shvat, 5711) underscores the immediacy of this vision, seeing it not only as an abstract hope for the future, but rather a goal for our lives in the present. Indeed, this maamar has been interpreted as a mission statement for Lubavitch, emphatically stating that the goal of our efforts are to quote the maamar:

We are in the midst of the period called ikvesa diMeshicha (the time when the approaching footsteps of Mashiach can be heard. Indeed, we are at the conclusion of this period. Our task is to complete the process of drawing down the Divine Presence… so that it should rest within our lowly world.

This goal was at the heart of the Rebbe’s efforts throughout all his years of leadership. And it is this goal which motivates his followers to continue in his path, spreading his message of vision, purpose, and love.

This is also the goal of the publication of this volume. When the Baal Shem Tov asked Mashiach: “When are you coming?” Mashiach answered, “When the wellsprings of your teachings spread outward.”1 For the teachings of Chassidus are the teachings of Mashiach , and their study and application prepares the world for his coming.

May the teachings of this volume spur us to do our part in shouldering the spiritual mission with which the Rebbe has charged us. And may this in turn lead to overtly apparent good and blessing, including the ultimate blessing, the coming of the Redemption, and the fulfillment of the prophecy,2 “And those who repose in the dust will arise and sing.”

Sichos In English

Yud Shvat, 5755