dated 6 Teves, was published in connection with the conclusion of the recital of Kaddish
after the passing of the Rebbe Rayatz.]
By the Grace of G-d
Opinions vary as to how long Kaddish should be recited: throughout one's life; twelve months and eleven days; a whole year, including the additional month in a leap year; twelve months; twelve months less one week; eleven months; and eleven months less one day.
For us, the authoritative ruling is the custom of our Rebbeim, as is recorded in an extract from the will of the Rebbe Rashab -- that the eleven months of Kaddish should be discontinued a month and a day before [the yahrzeit]. If, for example, the yahrzeit falls on Yud Shvat, then Kaddish should be said up to and including Tes Teves. This in fact is the view of a clear majority of the legal decisors of recent generations.
According to the writings of the AriZal -- and this teaching is cited by the poskim -- the recitation of Kaddish is also connected with the ascent of the soul from one level to the next within Gan Eden.
From this it is clear that with the conclusion of the eleven months' recitation of Kaddish, this pattern of ascents comes to an end and is replaced by a new one, for, as our Sages teach, "Torah scholars have no rest [in this world nor] in the next, as it is written, 'They shall proceed from strength to strength.' "
It follows of necessity that every one of those who have a bond with my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz], ought to exert himself more than until now in strengthening his hiskashrus. Every individual should make an earnest reckoning in his own soul as to what he has done in this regard in the past eleven months, and should compensate for whatever is lacking -- in the ways that we have been taught by our Nasi, viz., my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz] -- in intensifying his connection with him (i.e., to him), so that as the Rebbe ascends, he, too, will ascend.
And, as our Sages assure us, "He who sanctifies himself a little below, is sanctified a great deal from above."
Erev Shabbos of the Parshah which begins, Vayigash eilav [Yehudah] vayomer, Bi adoni, 5711 
- (Back to text) The above letter, dated erev Shabbos, Parshas Vayigash, 5711  -- reproduced in Sefer HaMaamarim 5711 , p. 158; in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XI, p. 213; in Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe, Vol. IV, p. 105; and in Toras Menachem: Hisvaaduyos 5711 , Vol. I, p. 151 -- originally served as the Introduction to a booklet in Heb. entitled Kuntreis Tes Teves 5711, which was reprinted in Sefer HaMaamarim 5711 , p. 158ff.
- (Back to text) Concerning the recitation of Kaddish for one's father-in-law who is also one's Torah teacher, see the sources mentioned in Sdei Chemed, Aseifas Dinim: Maareches Aveilus, sec. 157, 159. [-- Note by the Rebbe.]
- (Back to text) See also the sichah of Shabbos Parshas Vayigash, 7 Teves, 5711 , and the sichah of 9 Teves, 5711 
- (Back to text) The order of the following sources corresponds to the order in which the various views are listed above: Peleh Yoetz, cited by Sdei Chemed, Aseifas Dinim: Maareches Aveilus, sec. 162; the responsa of Maharik, cited in Darchei Moshe 376:9; the Responsa entitled Beis Yitzchak on Yoreh Deah, sec. 157, citing R. Shlomo Kluger; Kol-Bo, cited by the Rama on Yoreh Deah 376:4; Shiyurei Berachah (loc. cit.), citing Knesses HaGedolah; the Rama (loc. cit.), end of sec. 4; Sdei Chemed, (op. cit.), sec. 152. [-- Note by the Rebbe.]
- (Back to text) Reprinted in Chanoch LaNaar, p. 52; and elsewhere.
- (Back to text) This was the yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rashab's mother, the saintly Rebbitzin Rivkah. See the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 26:17.
- (Back to text) See also HaYom Yom, entry for 9 Shvat.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaKavanos, Inyan HaKaddish; Pri Etz Chaim, Shaar 6, in the Note at the end of ch. 1; Siddur HaAriZal (before Aleinu); and elsewhere. [-- Note by the Rebbe.]
- (Back to text) I.e., not only does the recitation of Kaddish serve -- in those cases where this is called for -- to release the soul of the departed from its place of retribution, but in addition, with respect to those souls which are in no need of such cleansing, it serves to advance their ongoing progression within the various levels of Gan Eden.
- (Back to text) Berachos 64a and Moed Katan 29a; explained in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XIV, p. 173ff.
- (Back to text) Tehillim 84:8.
- (Back to text) Yoma 39a.
- (Back to text) The phrase (Bereishis 44:18) literally means, "And Yehudah approached [Yosef] and said, 'Please, my lord,....' " As expounded in Chassidus (at the beginning of Torah Or on Parshas Vayigash), in this encounter Yehudah seeks to replenish his own resources with the spiritual energy -- the shefa -- that flows from Yosef HaTzaddik. [Based on a note by the Rebbe.]