Today, walking on Eastern Parkway near 770, I overheard a Yeshiva Bochur explaining to an older woman that the upcoming day of Gimmel Tammuz is “the day the Rebbe passed away in 1994; you see, he is the Moshiach…”
Moshiach is described as transcending paradox (“nosei hafochim“). We have no greater paradox than Gimmel Tammuz. On the one hand, it has all the hallmarks of a “histalkus“, which essentially means “disappearance” as in “passing away” (although Chassidus explains that it actually means greater revelation, one which transcends revelation). A “histalkus” of a Rebbe is the culmination of his leadership, and even though he continues to live on (also in this physical world, and even in a body [as we know that the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezeritch were present in a bodily form in the Alter Rebbe’s prison cell])—nonetheless, there is an “end of an era”, and a new Rebbe emerges to carry on the mission.
Nothing of the sort happened on Gimmel Tammuz 5754.
The leadership of the Rebbe has not diminished by even the smallest measure, rather, to the contrary—the dedication of his Chassidim is stronger than ever and his leadership is more widely influential than ever. There has not been a “break” but rather a “continuation” (see the sicha of 28 Sivan).
The Rebbe, in the sichos of Gimmel Tammuz, addresses the previous miraculous events of Gimmel Tammuz:
- Yehoshua bin Nun causes the sun to stand still (the sun is the tzaddik of whom it says “the sun sets and the sun rises”—on Gimmel Tammuz the sun did not set);
- The Previous Rebbe was redeemed from a death sentence under the Communists and sent to exile. It was the “beginning of the redemption”, but it was not clear to the Chassidim at the time. [Read further]
The power of our generation, the generation of Moshiach, lies in our ability to “see through the darkness”, to know that even despite all appearances to the contrary the leader of the generation, the Moshiach of the generation “stands and serves” and his leadership is uncontested. The terminology for this day, and what the Rebbe’s present address is, are not the decisive factors. Rather, the incontestable focus of this day is the fact that the Rebbe continues to lead our generation, the 7th generation, to greet the true and complete Geulah!
Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach l’Olam Vo’ed!