Those1 who say that histalkus means that the Rebbe [Rayatz] is removed from us, are wild folk who do not know what they are saying….2

In the maamar that the Rebbe [Rayatz] released for study on Yud Shvat, the day of his histalkus,3 he explains the following teaching from the Zohar:4 “When the sitra achra [lit., ‘the other side’; i.e., the cosmic force opposing holiness] is subdued, the glory of G‑d rises thereby [and is diffused] throughout all the worlds.” The verb here translated “rises…and is diffused” is istalek, [which shares a root with the noun histalkus]. Is there anyone at all who here, too, would understand this verb literally, so that it would (G‑d forbid) mean “departure”?

In the above maamar, the Rebbe [Rayatz] explains that the Zohar’s phrase, istalek yekara deKudsha Brich Hu (“the glory of G‑d rises thereby [and is diffused]”), describes the drawing down (or elicitation) of a transcendent level of Divine light, that which is sovev kol almin (lit., “encompasses all worlds”). In the Zohar, this hamshachah (“drawing down” or “diffusion”) is therefore termed histalkus (here translated “rising”), “for this refers to the revelation of the transcendent light of sovev kol almin which encompasses all worlds in an exalted manner.”5 From this it is self-evident that the same applies to the term histalkus when it is used in reference to the Rebbe [Rayatz].

Parenthetically: This concept is connected with today’s date, Shushan Purim. The maamarim of Purim6 relate the liturgical phrase,7 shoshan emek ayumah (“Rose of the valley, standing in awe”), to the Biblical phrase,8 keshoshanah bein hachochim (“Like a rose among the thorns”). In the analogy: When a rose is concealed by the thorns that surround it, then its fragrance is most appreciated. And in the analog: It is specifically the self-concealment of Divinity which is a condition of the soul’s descent to this corporeal world, that ultimately elicits a sublime irradiation of Divine light — a revelation of the transcendent light of sovev kol almin.

[To revert to the above discussion of how histalkus does not signify “removal” or “departure”, but rather a diffusion of light:] Nevertheless, even after all the above explanations have been duly considered, we want and we need the Rebbe [Rayatz] here, simply and literally,9 “lower than ten handbreadths from the ground….”

In this vein the Rebbe Maharash once asked his father, the Tzemach Tzedek, about the year 5608 [1848], which had been described as a keitz [lit., “end”; i.e., a particularly probable time for the Redemption to bring the exile to an end]: “How could it be that Mashiach has not arrived?”

The Tzemach Tzedek replied: “But Likkutei Torah was published!”10

“Yes,” answered the Rebbe Maharash, “but we want and need Mashiach, simply and literally, ‘lower than ten handbreadths from the ground….’ ”