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Shabbos Shira

1) To add and complete all the things connected to the yom ha’hilula [of the Rebbe Rayatz], learning his Torah (in a way of “ten sitting and involved in Torah”) and going in his ways in spreading the wellsprings outward. (B’Shalach 5752)

2) This especially includes continuing the farbrengens of the yom ha’hilula with joy and song, according to the lesson and inspiration of the Shabbos which completes the yom ha’hilula, namely, Shabbos Shira. (ibid.)

3) Action-oriented farbrengens with ahavas Yisroel on [the yom ha’hilula and on] Shabbos Shira, and on motzo’ei Shabbos. (Telegram sent by the Rebbe to Anash, in honor of Yud Shvat, 5748-5752.)

4) We do not find that the Rebbe Rayatz did as the Maharal of Prague did ... [namely] distributing kasha to the children for them to give the chickens and birds (although he did tell about this custom). In any case, one should talk about and mention this custom. (B’Shalach 5749)

5) But one should certainly gather the children and tell them the story of the Splitting of the Sea of Reeds, including how the children plucked fruits from the trees that grew in the seabed, and how they fed the birds who joined in the song of the Jewish people, as was the custom of the Maharal. (ibid.)

6) Especially to implant in them the good trait of compassion for living creatures (which is expressed in the story of feeding the birds), and “His mercy is on all his works.” (ibid.)  


15 Shvat

1) The main preparation for Chamisha Asar B’Shvat begins on the 10th of Shvat, four days before. (14 Shvat 5749)

2) Rosh HaShana for Trees is a special time to take on good resolutions (and to begin fulfilling them) for the entire year and to add in all matters of avoda, applying to both oneself and to others. (15 Shvat 5748)

3) Every single person (men, women, and children) contains all the details of “a land of wheat and barley and grape, fig and pomegranate, a land of olive oil and honey.” And on the New Year for Trees there should be a renewal and increase [and strengthening] in all these aspects of avoda for every single person, each according to his measure. (11 Shvat, B’Shalach 5752)

4) From the New Year for Trees, each and every person should add in a renewed way in all matters pertaining to “a man is like a tree of the field,” including: (a) A service in a way of taanug (pleasure), in which a person adds in his service more than is necessary to the point of taanug. (B’Shalach, 15 Shvat, 5750)

5) (b) Constant service in a way of growth of a seedling (particularly of a tree) [whereas grain reproduces itself in greater quantity, the seed of a fruit, produces something far greater in quality than the seed itself], such that not only is the quantity increased, but the quality is increased, as well, to a new level of quality [even relative to the perfection of the service of Yud Shvat]. (ibid.)

6) An essential component of growth is that it includes work with others (starting with one’s own household, the environment) by being a “fruit that makes a fruit of its kind, which contains its seed,” from which another tree can grow, and many other trees. (B’Shalach, 15 Shvat, 5749)

7) The custom is to have many sorts of fruits (especially when it comes out on Shabbos), especially the fruits for which Eretz Yisroel is known, (and carobs too, as is customary) [for in some places there has been a weakening of these customs for whatever reason]. (B’Shalach 5751)

8) To inspire the children about fulfilling this custom of eating fruits, including explaining to them (in a way understandable to them) the significance of the New Year for Trees — growing in Yiddishkeit, Torah and mitzvos, to be trees that produce good fruit. (B’Shalach 5749)

9) People should also know about making farbrengens everywhere [possible] on the 15th of Shvat [ in addition to the farbrengens of the yom ha’hilula, in order l’hashlim, meaning filling a lack, or meaning perfection]. (11 Shvat, B’Shalach 5752)

10) [In 5748, Shnas Hakhel, the Rebbe said] in order for it to be with the greatest “b’rov am” (with a large crowd) , they should choose a suitable time in each place, whether after Mincha of erev Chamisha Asar B’Shevat or on the 15th of Shvat itself. (B’Shalach 5748)

11) And in the days that follow, until Shabbos, the Shabbos of the Giving of the Torah (and even better, at all these times, in various places). (ibid.)

12) They will certainly use the Chamisha Asar B’Shevat farbrengen to explain and inspire about increasing and renewing in the service of the “seven species” [even for babies (and certainly for those five, four, and three years old)]. (11 Shvat, B’Shalach 5752)

13) And especially to arouse the desire and the yearning, to a feeling of joy because of the knowledge that we will immediately enter Eretz Yisroel, to eat of its fruits and to be sated with its goodness, and to be able to fulfill all the mitzvos connected with the Land in the most perfect way. (ibid.)

14) [In 5750, “forty years,” the Rebbe suggested that] a general farbrengen should be made on the 15th of Shvat (or at least one with a sizable crowd) in all places, and certainly in Eretz Yisroel, so that the local people may gather (of the city or neighborhood) and fulfill the customs of Chamisha Asar B’Shevat together, eating fruits, etc. ( in addition to people doing this at home, in the home atmosphere). (Bo 5749)

15) [Naturally] at this time they should speak and teach words of Torah, especially in accordance with the words of our Sages about “man being like a tree of the field,” which refers to a Torah scholar, and that the seven species with which Eretz Yisroel is praised are compared by the Sages to Torah. (ibid.)

16) [And also] to add in taking on good resolutions in all matters of Torah and mitzvos, and in general, each person should openly appear as a “man is a tree of the field,” a tree which grows in all matters of Torah and Yiddishkeit, and a tree which produces fruit — fruits are mitzvos, the fruits of tzaddikim are their good deeds. (ibid.)



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