Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Yud Beis Tammuz

Today is Yud Beis Tammuz - the 12th day in the month of Tammuz - which is the birthday of the Previous Rebbe and the day when he was granted release from his sentence of exile for spreading Torah in Russia. See here at the Sichos in English site for a translation of the Previous Rebbe's account.

I have reproduced an excerpt from the book Timeless Patterns in Time below. I believe it is particularly relevant to us and the discussions we have been having on this site. Despite us living in a vibrant Jewish community we must not rest on our laurels. We must confront the challenges of living in 2005 and ensure that we remain a frum and truly chassidish community.

The Previous Rebbe's redemption on Yud-Beis Tammuz led to his coming to the United States, a change in location that had two effects. On the one hand, being in America enabled him to disseminate Judaism and Chassidism without all the difficulties encountered in Europe. However, the American environment also confronted chassidim with a challenge - that of maintaining the intensity of commitment aroused by a threat to one's existence when that threat no longer existed.

The Previous Rebbe withstood this challenge as well, initiating trailblazing activities which ultimately established America as a major Torah center for our people. With untiring optimism and perseverance, he opened up new frontiers in his efforts to disseminate the observance of Torah.

His redemption on Yud-Beis Tammuz was thus not a personal matter; it affected our entire people. As the positive effects brought about by this redemption continue and grow, we are able to see openly, and not only appreciate on a spiritual plane, that his redemption served as a preparation for the ultimate Redemption which we will
experience with the coming of Mashiach. May this take place in the immediate future.