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The Focus Of Yud Shvat

One year on Yud Shvat after davening, when the Chassidim sat down to hear the recitation of the maamarBasi L’Gani,” R’ Moshe Slonim, a’h, closed his eyes and began saying the familiar opening words, “Basi l’gani achosi kala...”(I came to my garden, my sister, my bride). But it wasn’t long before the crowd realized it wasn’t the expected maamer, the Rebbe Rayatz’s maamer of 5710 (traditionally said on his yom ha’hilula), but the Rebbe MH”M’s maamer of the following year. The crowd began to protest, in shock from the blatant deviation from tradition, but R’ Moshe simply ignored them and continued. To him it was obvious that on Yud Shvat the maamar to review is the Rebbe MH”M’s inaugural maamar...

R’ Moshe had a special koch in this maamar. He saw in it a vision for the future, the program, the ideology, and the Rebbe’s strategy to conquer the world and bring the Redemption. He saw in it the underpinnings and foundation for all the work that lay ahead. It all begins with the point that our generation is the generation of Redemption, and the leader of this generation will redeem us.

Indeed, this maamar covers the gamut of Chassidic thought — the idea of “dira b’tachtonim,” that the ultimate purpose of all existence is our lowly world; the importance and role of our era, “the seventh generation”; the meaning of the concepts: Rebbe, Chassid, Beis HaMikdash, ahavas Yisroel, Exile, Redemption, self-sacrifice; in short, everything.

Choosing to review this maamar in particular on Yud Shvat comes from a Chassidishe hergesh, the intuition of a true follower of the ways of Chassidus, who doesn’t take solace in memory or nostalgia. He focuses on the significance of the moment and seeks the message for our times. In other words, the purpose in reviewing the “Basi L’Gani” of the hilula is in order to feel the need to review the “Basi Le’Gani” of the Rebbe’s inauguration as leader, the maamar that focuses on the main issues of our generation.


Chassidim like R’ Moshe are never interested in outer wrappings. They are interested in content, in what’s really important, and for them this truth illuminates the external, as well. They begin with the root and go on to the branches, from the foundation to the rest of the structure, the building, and as a result their minds and hearts are always focused. It is all they talked about. Any discussions or debates have this as the foundation.

In preparation for Yud Shvat, we must learn “Basi L’Gani” — both that of the Rebbe Rayatz and of the Rebbe MH”M — over and over again and etch its message into our minds. And we must hope, wait, believe, and know that in just another moment: “...nizkeh zehn zich mitten Rebbin da l’matta in a guf u’l’matta mei’assara t’fachim — v’hu yigaleinu” (“we will merit to be seen with the Rebbe down Below in a body, and in the ten handbreadths closest to the world — and he will redeem us”).





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