This letter serves as the introduction to the kuntres sent out for Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5710.1

B”H, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5710

Many people seek to pinpoint and characterize the vir­tues and preeminence of each of the Rebbeim of Chabad, and in particular of the Nasi of our generation — my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ — in various terms:2 the paradigm of self-sacrifice, a gaon, a man of exemplary character traits, a tzaddik, an individual endowed with divine inspira­tion, an individual accustomed to [performing] miracles, and so on.

When one considers how the teachings of Chassidus de­fine what self-sacrifice really means, what being a gaon really means, and so on, these are indeed extremely lauda­tory terms.

Nevertheless, the essential point is missing here. Apart from this being the essence per se, it is especially important because of the vital effect it has [in general], and in particular upon us, the community of those who are his chassidim and who are bound to him. That essential point is the fact that he is the Nasi, and the Nasi of Chabad.

For a Nasi by definition is referred to as3 the head of the multitudes of Israel; in relation to them he is the “head” and “brain”; their nurture and life-force reach them through him; and by cleaving to him they are bound and united with their Source in the Supernal worlds.

There are various categories of Nesiim:4 some Nesiim convey their influence in an internalized manner; others diffuse their influence in an indirect and encompassing manner.5 These differences may be further subdivided: some Nesiim endow their recipients with insights into the revealed plane of the Torah (Nigleh); some endow their recipients with insights into the mystical plane of the Torah, and some do both together; some instruct their followers in the paths of avodah and Chassidus; some direct material benefits to their followers; and so on.

And there are Nesi’im who comprise several of these attributes, or even all of them.6

This [essential] quality [of a Nasi] has characterized the leadership of the Nesiim of Chabad from the very beginning, from the Alter Rebbe up to and including my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. They incorporated all the above attributes: they radiated both inward and encompassing influence — in Torah, in avodah, and in the practice of good deeds; [and they conveyed blessings both] spiritual and material. Consequently, [the Nesiim of Chabad] have been bound7 with all 613 organs of the soul and body of those who were connected with them.

Every single one of us must know — i.e., must think deeply and fix his thought8 on this — that [the Rebbe Rayatz] is indeed the Nasi and the head; from him and through him are directed all material and spiritual benefac­tions; and by being bound to him (in his letters he has taught us how this is accomplished)9 we are bound and united with the spiritual root, with the ultimate Supernal spiritual root.

Menachem Schneerson

3 Tammuz, 5710 [1950]
Brooklyn, N.Y.