The uniqueness of the 13th of Tammuz has already been discussed by the Previous Rebbe himself. Our service thus involves translating these concepts into deed and action, conducting ourselves according to the directives of the Previous Rebbe.
Every chassid receives the blessings of the Previous Rebbe to be "a candle which sheds light." As everyone of us increases the light which he spreads in his surroundings, others will also be motivated to kindle their own lights. This, in turn, will have a reciprocal effect and inspire the person who initially began spreading light to shine with even greater light.
In this context, it is worthy to mention the importance of continuing the celebrations associated with the Previous Rebbe's holiday of redemption for three days, until the fifteenth of Tammuz, the date associated with the complete shining of the moon in this month. This means that, in addition to the farbrengens held on Shabbos, the twelve of Tammuz, farbrengens should be held on each of the three days that follow, the 13th, 14th, and 15th of Tammuz. The fact that these three days are weekdays is significant, for it allows for the possibility of people who live further away to attend. Similarly, it allows for the possibility for tzedakah to be given at these gatherings.
In this context, it is proper to mention that these gatherings should be characterized by activities in the three modes of service on which "the world stands," Torah study, prayer, and deeds of kindness. This threefold repetition of these three modes of service will have a lasting effect as reflected in the verse, "the threefold bond will not be easily broken."
This gathering will conclude with the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah. Herein, there is an intrinsic connection to the redemption of the Previous Rebbe on Yud-Beis Tammuz. In Iggeres HaKodesh, the Alter Rebbe explains that his redemption was connected to the tzedakah given to support Eretz Yisrael. Similarly, we can assume that tzedakah shared an intrinsic connection to the Previous Rebbe's redemption. This also relates to the prayer that our gifts to tzedakah hasten the coming of the ultimate Redemption led by Mashiach.
The Redemption shares a connection with this week's Torah reading, Parshas Pinchas. Firstly, our Sages identify Pinchas with Eliyahu, the prophet of the redemption. Also, Pinchas (æçÉëö) is numerically equivalent to Yitzchak (ùçûë), the Patriarch who is most closely related to the Redemption, for in that era, the Jews will point to Yitzchak and say, "He is our father."
There is a connection between Pinchas' attainments and the divine service of every Jew. To explain: Pinchas achieved priesthood by virtue of his own achievements. Pinchas was born before Aharon, his grandfather, and Eliezar, his father, became priests. Therefore, although the distinction of priesthood was bestowed as a hereditary quality to their descendants, it was not conveyed upon Pinchas at the outset. Only after his act of self-sacrifice was the covenant of priesthood conveyed upon him.
Similarly, priesthood is relevant to every Jew, as the Rambam writes, "not only the tribe of Levi, but every person who is motivated by his heart... to stand before G-d and serve Him... is sanctified as holy of holies," the latter term referring to the High Priesthood. Furthermore, this is the innate potential of every Jew, for the Jews are "a kingdom of priests." The latter phrase is also a reference to the High Priesthood, indicating that from the giving of the Torah onward, the Jews were granted the potential to reflect this level of divine service.
All of the above matters will be enhanced by the unique spiritual potential of this year, a year of release (ê"ÄÖÜ), and will help prepare us for the unique influence of the coming year, "a year of miracles." May those miracles include -- and indeed, be precipitated by -- the greatest miracle the coming of the Redemption.
- (Back to text) On this date, we see a fusion of the powerful expression of both the sun and the moon. For in the month of Tammuz, the sun shines more powerfully than at any time throughout the year. Although the Jewish calendar follows the moon, the powerful influence of the sun will surely enhance their divine service.
- (Back to text) Or to listen through telephone hookups.
- (Back to text) It is possible to explain that the verse is alluding to a further concept: Even when on an apparent level, the bond is broken, i.e., each of these activities is carried out in a separate venue, the connection between them still remains.