Yud Shevat marks the yahrzeit and Hillula (anniversary of the passing) of the Previous Rebbe in 5710 (1950), the father-in-law of the Rebbe MH”M. His resting place is in Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, NY, commonly referred to as “the Ohel”.
The Rebbe, MH”M, oversaw all the details, wrote the text of the gravestone, and even designed the Ohel structure itself (in a way that Kohanim could enter and avoid the halachic prohibition of being in proximity to a grave). The Rebbe visited the Ohel on a twice-weekly basis, and often more frequently than that.
At the same time, the Rebbe continued to refer to his father-in-law as “Nosi Doreinu”, the leader of the generation, and the “Moshiach of the generation“. The Rebbe asserted that “hu bachayim” (“he is alive”), like Yaakov Avinu who did not die. Each year on the Previous Rebbe’s birthday, the Rebbe spoke about his father-in-law’s new chapter of Tehillim, just like anyone else who has a birthday and begins a new year of life. The Rebbe spoke sharply that his father-in-law does not have an issue of inheritance because he is “fresher and more lively” each passing year.
Yud Shevat is the yahrzeit of a living man, the Ohel is the gravesite of a living man.
If we don’t understand, the problem is ours to ponder and to research. When we will understand how the gemora can state the “Moshe didn’t die” and “Yaakov didn’t die” and that after his passing Rebbi Yehuda Hanosi would appear at the home of his family on Shabbos night (and made Kiddush for them) — then surely we will begin understand the meaning of Yud Shevat and how eternal life is not contradicted by a yahrzeit nor by a gravestone.
יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד