for Chaf Beis Shvat, Yahrtzeit of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, o.b.m.
7:2) “V’ha’chai yitein el libo” (and the living shall take
it to heart). Although this is said in reference to the mourning period, it
applies at all times. A thinking person examines the events that occur to him
and around him, and learns from them. Something shocking that happens, like the
passing of a relative, affects him deeply, and causes extra introspection. It
makes the “yitein el libo” stronger, so that one wants to add in avodas
Hashem, in all matters of Torah and mitzvos.
should demonstrate that “her children are alive” (for then “she is
alive”), through learning from the Rebbetzin’s actions and conducting
oneself in that spirit with mesirus nefesh.
melamed wanted to teach my father-in-law’s daughters by
intellectualizing everything, rather than frightening them with stories of
miracles and mesirus nefesh. But the Rebbe Rayatz said to him, “On the
contrary, a Jewish child should begin his education specifically with
stories of mesirus nefesh, for that is precisely what a Jewish child is
receptive to.” It should be noted that this story was related in connection
with the Rebbetzin, and naturally, her chinuch had this emphasis.
a child after her and educating the child in her ways is the obvious fulfillment
of “her children are alive, so is she alive.” It will add to the child’s
life (chaya) in the simple sense, length of days and good years.
also includes the faith in the coming of Moshiach and the anticipation of his
coming, as the Rambam states that in addition to believing in him we must also
await his coming. The Rebbe Rayatz stated that everything has been done and all
that remains is to greet Moshiach. The histalkus on Chaf-Beis Shvat,
5748, was only in order to effect the only remaining ascent, the ascent of the
true and complete Redemption.
its histalkus, the neshama wants, needs, and yearns for an
increase in good deeds in this physical world, in memory of the departed, an
increase in tefilla, Torah study, and giving tzedaka.
first thing to do is to add in set times for Torah study in all places, to
establish public shiurim in the study of Chassidus and Nigla, especially
in places where there are as yet no shiurim. Where there are shiurim already,
one should add and strengthen the learning in quality and quantity.
study of the Agada (the stories in the Gemara), Ein Yaakov and the
like, should be emphasized, for most of the secrets of the Torah are hidden
within it. By studying this, even simple people can understand the secrets of
Torah, according to p’shat, by means of the drush and remez
should connect the shiurim to a his’orerus (awakening) in
matters of fear of Heaven in general, and in particular, the avoda of tefilla
and the mitzva of tzedaka should be increased. Thus, the shiurim
will have an effect on the three pillars upon which the world stands and
exists. This his’orerus should not take place in the middle of the
learning so as not to confuse matters; rather, it should be either before or
after the learning. As people are gathering together, they should learn in
groups. And the more people the better. For by doing so there will be added
acceptance and fulfillment of good resolutions in other matters of holiness. (Sicha
Parshas Yisro 22, Shvat 5749)
should add tzedaka in connection with the yahrtzeit, preferably in
numbers of 470, the gematria of the name of the deceased. The more the
better, not just 470 small copper coins, but 470 large coins.
is proper, in connection with the yahrtzeit, to increase and add mosdos
(institutions) l’ilui nishmasa. This should include special mosdos
for the three mitzvos given to women, the acronym h’ch’n:
hadlakas neiros Shabbos (lighting Shabbos candles), challa (which
includes kashrus), and nida (family purity) and girls’ schools.
In the previous generation, the gedolei Yisroel founded schools for
girls, too. Until then, boys had attended school and girls were educated by
their mothers, grandmothers, and older sisters. Beis Rivka was founded by the
Rebbe, my father-in-law.
these girls’ schools, in addition to learning practical halachos, they
also learn the give and take of learning, and a little pilpul, which adds
enjoyment to the learning. However, the main thing is the bottom line, halacha
Parshas Yisro, 22 Shvat 5750)
should publicize the obligation and privilege of whoever wants to take part in
these ongoing activities (by initiating new projects and mosdos) in the
second year, which has already begun with all of the shturm of a new
year. (Sicha 23 Shvat After Maariv, 5749)
to Jewish custom, one of the most important things done for the elevation of a
soul and as a remembrance is to write a seifer Torah. (Sicha Parshas
Yisro, 22 Shvat 5749)