This letter was addressed to the directorate of Collel Chabad andin particular, to R. Shlomo Yehudah Leib Aliazarof, the head of the Collel.

B”H, 21 Menachem Av, 5705

Greetings and blessings,

I received your letter of 27 Tammuz. Thank you for organizing all the matters concerning the year [of mourning] and the day of the yahrzeit as befitting.1

You should receive $100 from R. Chanoch Hendel Havlin for the Collel as [a donation] from me in connection with the expenses associated with the above, together with thanks from the depths of my heart.

Attention can be drawn to our Sages’ statement (Shabbos 152b; Zohar, Vol. I, p. 226b) that after twelve months, i.e., on the day of the yahrzeit and from that day onward, the soul ascends and does not descend.

An additional rationale can be mentioned with regard to the righteous. For on the day of their death, the righteous are on a very high level — see the sources cited in Maavar Yabok, maamar 1, ch. 17; see also the gloss of Metzudos David to II Melachim 2:10.2

And in Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 28, the Alter Rebbe writes that on the day of his passing: “All the work for which a person’s soul labored during his lifetime [is lodged] in the spiritual realms in a concealed and hidden manner, [but] is revealed and shines in manifest revelation from above at the time of his passing.”

It is possible to say that this is the intent of our Sages’ statement (Avos 6:9) that at the time of a person’s passing, he is accompanied only by “Torah and good deeds.” The intent is at that actual time, [his study and good deeds are revealed].

Therefore with the passing of a year — i.e., on the day of the yahrzeit — [this revelation is repeated]. As is well known, all the spiritual influences associated with the special days of a year become manifest again at the appointed time every year.

Moreover, as a result of the concept that: “The righteous do not have any rest... not [even] in the World to Come3 and “proceed from strength to strength,”4 [in the subsequent years,] they achieve a much greater ascent than on the actual day of their passing (see Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 14).5

In connection with the rationale mentioned above — that [on the yahrzeit] the soul ascends and never descends — Shaar HaMitzvos, the conclusion of Parshas Vayechi, states that this ascent begins from the Shabbos preceding the yahrzeit and is not necessarily [associated] with the yahrzeit itself. This would not apply with regard to the rationale explained above. Further analysis of the matter is required.

With requests to pray for the health and welfare of my mother; may she enjoy long and good years; with the blessing “Immediately to teshuvah; immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Executive Director