1. Togetherness in Marriage

Speaking1 of wedding festivities, in the maamar that was released for study on Yud Shvat,2 the Rebbe [Rayatz] cites the Gemara:3 “It was said of R. Yehudah the son of R. Ilai that [at weddings] he would twirl a sprig of myrtle as he danced before the bride…. As Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak danced, he would juggle three (‘twigs of myrtle’ - Rashi)…. Said R. Zeira: ‘This venerable sage has been well served by his folly’ (שטותיה , ‘for he clowned like a fool’ - Rashi).”

The maamar goes on to explain that “folly of this kind transcends understanding, and thus represents a wondrously superior mode of conduct.” [The following citation from the Gemara4 throws fresh light on the nonrational -
i.e., superrational - conduct of the above-named Sages at weddings.]

The Gemara teaches: “If a man (איש) and a woman (אשה) are found worthy, the Divine Presence abides between them. For איש is composed of אש (‘fire’) and the letter י ; אשה is composed of אש and the letter ה. When a man and a woman are found worthy [i.e., when they approach marriage in a G‑dly way], the letters י and ה combine to spell the Name of G‑d: the Shechinah dwells in their midst.”

“Moreover,” the maamar of the Rebbe [Rayatz] adds, “the Divine Presence then becomes manifest in the kind of marriage that is called5 בנין עדי עד - ‘an everlasting edifice.’ And because a marriage thus elicits such spiritual power, [the joy of the Sages at weddings would burst the conventional bounds of propriety. Indeed, in the wake of the dancing of Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak,] he was granted a sublime revelation of Divine favor….”

This principle applies to every chassan and kallah: If they build their home on the foundations of the Torah, the Rebbe [Rayatz] promises that it will be a binyan adei ad - “an everlasting edifice.” In the words of the Sages6 [concerning an alternative form of this term, vaed, which is one of three common words signifying eternity], “Anything described as lasting netzach or selah or vaed, will never be intercepted.”

2. Togetherness in Avodah

The Rebbe [Rayatz] earnestly asks and expects that building a home on the foundations of the Torah should not refer only to the holy aspects of the home, but that all of its mundane aspects too should be permeated with Torah.

The distinction between these two conceptions is highlighted in a story which the Rebbe [Rayatz] once told:7

There were once two brothers. One was a chassid; he was poor, of course, and had a number of daughters. The other was a misnaged; he was wealthy, and had a number of sons. When the daughters approached marriageable age, the chassid decided to ask his brother for help with the cost of marrying them off.

For a start, the host gave him a guided tour of his spacious mansion: “This is my private study; in this room I sleep; in this room I dine; in this room I receive guests;” and so on.

This done, he asked his brother: Nu, what do you have to say about my home?”

Replied the chassid: “I’m impressed by your ability to live amidst such a scattering of the soul. In one special room you sleep, in one special room you dine, in one special room you study Torah and observe mitzvos. I have only two rooms: I am unable to allocate separate places for sleeping and eating and observing the Torah and its mitzvos….”

A Jewish home is not divided up into separate sections, with one section set apart for holy matters, and the rest for mundane affairs. Rather, the Torah should permeate - and it does permeate - the home in its entirety.

3. Togetherness in the Soul

A model of this ideal may be found in the particular avodah of every day: the avodah of davenen should permeate and activate the entire day.8

It was the custom of one of the sons of the Tzemach Tzedek,9 after whom the Rebbe [Rayatz] was named, [and who in true Chabad tradition sought to accompany his pray ers with protracted meditation on appropriate teachings of Chassidus], to first go to shul to hear Barchu, Kedushah, and the Repetition of the Shemoneh Esreh.10 He would then pray privately.

When he was asked how he discharged his obligation of praying with a congregation,11 he replied that he endeavored to congregate and marshal all ten faculties of his soul - and with this “congregation” he would pray.12

4. Togetherness with the Rebbe.

The strength required to accomplish this - so that the Torah will permeate one’s entire household, and so that one’s davenen will permeate everything one does in the course of the day - is drawn down and directed to every individual by the Rebbe, by means of the teachings of Chassidus. The Torah in general has been likened to food.13 Beyond this, Chassidus has been likened to water, which enables the nutrients contained in one’s food to reach and permeate every organ of the body.14

By way of illustration: Chassidim recount that R. Elchanan Dov Morozov15 was once asked whether he held more highly of the Rebbe [Rashab] or of Moshe Rabbeinu….

“The Rebbe,” he replied, “for if not for the Rebbe, how would my faith in Moshe Rabbeinu have looked?”

Concerning this function of a Rebbe, there is a difference between the Rebbe [Rayatz] and his predecessors. They had elder chassidim who served as spiritual mentors16 of the younger chassidim, who then went out into the wide world and disseminated the teachings of their respective Rebbeim among the unlettered populace - whereas the Rebbe [Rayatz] had to do everything singlehanded.

5. The Rebbe Is With Us

The strength which the Rebbe [Rayatz] draws down by means of the teachings of Chassidus, continues now too to be drawn down and given to us, without any change on his part - and for our part, too, there has been no change that should make us think that the Rebbe [Rayatz] is not with us, G‑d forbid. (Those who knew the Rebbe throughout his thirty years as Nasi, know that he would not let his chassidim remain alone on Shabbos Parshas Zachor, for example, when they have to do battle with Amalek….)

For us, there is only one change. In the past, some individual might have thought that when he entered the Rebbe’s study he could talk about the things that he wanted to talk about, and hide the things that he wanted to hide from the Rebbe. Now, however, it is clear to everyone that the Rebbe knows even the things that are hidden within us - for in the past he was garbed in a physical body, unlike now, when he transcends the limitations of a physical body, and is all spirituality.

On the other hand, since17 “when a tzaddik departs he is to be found in all the worlds more than during his lifetime…; even in this world of action… he is to be found more [than during his lifetime],” it is certain that the Rebbe is continuing to lead the world at large and the chassidic brotherhood in particular, and is interceding with requests for compassion - as he was doing until now, and in fact even more intensely.

And just as in the past it was a self-evident truth for each one of us that the Rebbe would lead us to encounter our righteous Mashiach, so too should that be self-evident today.

As to the event which took place, and so on, this is so only in our fleshly eyes; it is only a test (one of the tests comprising the birthpangs of Mashiach which must precede the coming of the righteous Redeemer), whose function is only to conceal the truth - except that an explanation is still required as to why according to the Torah there now has to be Kaddish, and so on. The purpose of this test is that people should strengthen themselves when confronted by it. In this way, the obscurity will be banished and nullified, and the truth will be manifest (as explained in the teachings of Chassidus18).

Accordingly, through strengthening our bond [with the Rebbe] by studying his Torah teachings and giving practical application to his directives (both his public directives, and also - especially - those given face-to-face [to individuals] at yechidus), we will immediately be granted the merit (since we are at “the footsteps of Mashiach”19) of seeing the Rebbe with fleshly eyes, and the Rebbe will lead us to the Redemption.