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Unread 11-20-2002, 11:10 PM   #1
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Yud Tes Kislev ~ The Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus

Yud Tes Kislev ~ The Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus
Motzei Shabbos - Sunday - November 23-24

By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

The Nineteenth of Kislev is the Yahrzeit of our saintly master, R. DovBer, the Maggid of Mezritch, the mentor of the second generation of the Chassidic movement, from 5521 (1761) until his passing on Tuesday, of Parshas Vayeishev, Kislev 19, 5533 (1772). For a biography in English, see: R. Jacob Immanuel Schochet, the Great Maggid (Kehot, N.Y. 1974)

R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya, founder and first leader of the Chabad Chassidic movement from 5533 (1772) until his passing on Teves 24, 5573 (1812), was released from his first imprisonment on Kislev 19, late in the afternoon Tuesday of Parshas Vayeishev, 5559 (1798).

The Alter Rebbe writes in a letter: “...This indeed must be made known, that on the day which HaShem made for us, on the nineteenth of Kislev; on the third day of the week (about which the Torah writes twice, “It is good”) on the Yahrtzeit of our holy master (the Magid of Mezritch), whose soul reposes in Eden, on that day, while I was reading the verse in the Book of Tehillim that begins, “he has redeemed my soul in peace” (55:19), and before I began the following verse, I went forth in peace through the G-d of Peace.” (For an account of his arrest and liberation see: R. Nissan Mindel, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (Kehot, N.Y., 1971)

“One ought to prepare oneself for the approach of the Rosh Hashanah of chassidus in ways that recall the days of Selichos and the month of Elul.” (Sichah Yud-Tes Kislev, 5707)

“It’s a custom for Chassidim to immerse in the Mikveh before Shacharis on the nineteenth of Kislev, keeping the practice handed down by the earliest Chassidim in the name of the Baal Shem tov, to go to the Mikveh before Shabbos and YomTov, and on Shabbos and YomTov morning.” (Sefer Haminhagim)

The Rebbe Rashab used to make an appeal for charitable purposes during the Farbrengen of Yud-Tes Kislev. (Sefer Hasichos: Toras Shalom, p. 243)

It’s customary to divide the Mesechtas of Shas, on Yud-Tes Kislev, to study in the course of the coming year.

The Alter Rebbe writes in the letter “Hocheiach Tochiach”, that closes Kuntres Acharon at the end of Tanya: “Complete the study of the entire Talmud every year and in every community, the Mesechtos apportioned by lot or by consent. In a city where there are many shuls, each congregation should complete the Talmud. and if a congregation is too small to implement this, they should join forces with men of a larger one. This program shall be neither violated nor varied.”

From 5663 (1902) on, because of lack of time on Yud-Tes Kislev, the division of the Shas in Lubavitch was done on Teves 24, Yahrtzeit of the Alter Rebbe. In 5713 (1952), fifty years later, the Rebbe, restored the custom to its original date, Yud-Tes Kislev.

Those whose community, for whatever reason, too small to cope with the entire Talmud, participate in the division arranged by Machne Israel, 770 Eastern Parkway. Brooklyn, NY 11213.

Rosh Hashanah LeChassidus is a day when everyone should bless their family and friends with: “May you be written and sealed for a good year in the study of Chassidus, and the ways of Chassidus.”

We should start learning the HaYom Yom everyday.
In the Farbrengen of Yud Tes Kislev we should have the 3 pillars of Torah, Avodah, and Gimilas Chasodim.

Torah: is to learn from the teachings of the Alter Rebbe, especially a Maamar, the Chassidic discourse, which is connected to Geulah, starting with the words: Padah Beshalom.

Tefillah: also includes saying Lechaim to bless other people (even if they are not present).

Tzedakah: Kind deeds, is to give Tzedakah by the Farbrengen and saying kind words to another person is also a kind deed.

(Farbrengen of Yud Tes Kislev, 5749/1988)

Everyone should make Yud Tes Kislev farbrengens: with himself, with his family and with his friends.
(Shabbos Parshas Yishlach - 16th Kislev, 5752/1991)

The Rebbe always stressed Shiurim of Chitas and the daily schedule is written in back of the Tanya.

“May you be written and sealed for a good year in the study of Chassidus, and the ways of Chassidus.”
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Unread 11-20-2002, 11:22 PM   #2
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Yud Tes Kislev

R’ Yisroel Yitzchok of Staradov, a Chasid of R’ Menachem Mendel of Horodok, became a Chasid of the Alter Rebbe. He was of such stature among Chasidim that even when there were restrictions about coming to the Alter Rebbe, he was exempt and could come whenever he wished.

In 5559 (1798) he was in Liozna for Tishrei. When he saw the black coach to take the Alter Rebbe to prison he shouted, “The Shechinah is exiled!” he said Shema and fainted. They couldn’t revive him. Someone had an idea, to shout to him that the Rebbe was free and had returned. R’ Yisroel Yitzchok awoke, but was very weak. He couldn’t return home by foot, but had to go by wagon.

The entire time the Alter Rebbe was in prison the Chasidim fasted. In Staradov, on the night of Yud Tes Kislev they made a farbrengen for the Magid’s Yartzeit, but by day they fasted.

R’ Yisroel Yitzchok said: R’ Menachem Mendel of Horodok came to him in a dream and said, “Although you are no longer my Chasid, I will reveal to you a secret: Tonight, we were in the Heichal of the Magid, the Ba’al Shem Tov sat on his right and the AriZal on his left. The Magid said Chasidus and began to cry. He said, “My student, the Magid of Liozna, is in prison; we must do something. Suddenly R’ Shimon Bar Yochai came and they made a Beis Din and ruled that the Alter Rebbe must be freed.” The Chasidim wondered whether they should complete the fast, and in fact they did. This was Tuesday. On Sunday a messenger came and told them the Alter Rebbe was free.

(The Friediker Rebbe, Shavuos 5696)

***

The Alter Rebbe was arrested in 5559. It would have been years earlier, but when the Tzadik R’ Zushye of Anipoli found out about the decree, he said, “Zushye doesn’t want it.” The decree was delayed several years.
The same decree was on many of the Magid’s desciples. The Alter Rebbe accepted it and R’ Zushey said, “Zushye doesn’t want it.”
(Sichah of the Friediker Rebbe, Yud Tes Kislev 5687)

Anything that is desired for a Tzadik can only be done with his approval. Thus, if the Rebbe hadn’t agreed, they wouldn’t have been able to take him to Petersburg. The proof is that six hours before Shabbos traveling in the black coach, the Alter Rebbe wanted to go no further. The axle beneath the coach broke. It was repaired, and one of the horses died. They brought a new one, but they couldn’t move. They wanted to go to a small village for Shabbos but the Alter Rebbe didn’t agree. He accepted only for them to move off the road, near a field, where he spent Shabbos. This shows that everything that happens to a Tzadik is according to his will.

(Likutei Diburim, Vol. 1 p. 74)

***

The Mitteler Rebbe said of the arrest, “My father agreed to be arrested because he wanted to test the brotherly love of Chasidim. How would they accept his arrest?”

The Friediker Rebbe said, “I one told my father this. He said, “I searched through Seforim to find how it’s permitted according to Torah, to put oneself in danger to see the Midos and brotherly love of Chasidim.”

My father concluded that a shepherd of B’nei Yisroel must know what is happening with his flock. “If the Alter Rebbe would have known this was missing from Chasidim he would have to correct it. To do this it was worth putting himself in danger.” The Rebbe Rashab said the brotherly love of Chasidim is their nature; if someone’s missing this he is blemished, as if someone would be born missing a limb, Chas V’Shalom.

(Sichah Yud Tes Kislev 5697)

***

On the first anniversary of Yud Tes Kislev chasidim didn’t know what would happen. The Alter Rebbe’s brother R’ Yehudah Leib, wrote that no one should come for Yud Tes Kislev or the Shabbosim before. The Chasidim knew they wouldn’t say Tachnun, but didn’t know if it would be a Yom Tov. The emissary who collected money for Chabad in Israel, R’ Yaakov Smilianer, gave this advice: they should collect money faster than usual; he’d bring it to the Alter Rebbe early and try to rescind the decree. He succeeded and many Chasidim came for Yud Tes Kislev.

The Alter Rebbe said a Ma’amar, “And next year they established it as a Yom Tov.” (as the Gemara says about Chanukah.)

(Sichah of the Friediker Rebbe, Yud Tes Kislev 5697)

The Rebbe explained that since he connected Yud Tes Kislev to Chanukah, it teaches us that just as Chanukah will exist after Moshiach comes, so too will the Tom Tov of Yud Tes Kislev. (Vayeishev 5717).

***

R’ Izek of Vitebsk told the Rebbe Maharash: On the first anniversary Chasidim gathered in Liozna and it was very joyous. The Rebbe’s grandson, the Tzemach Tzedek, came into the room, pounded on the table, “Atah Hareisah.” The Chasidim divided Atah Hareisah among themselves and dances Hakofos with a Sefer Torah until late at night. The Alter Rebbe heard of this and was very pleased. He called his grandson, put his holy hand on his head and blessed him: “He will reveal the Torah SheBa’alPeh of the Torah SheBichsav of Toras Chasidus Chabad.”

The Tzemach Tzedek explained: in his youth he wanted to divide the Tanya into Pesukim and to put in Nekudos. “That night I dreamt I was learning the laws of a Sefer Torah. The question arose if a Torah had Nekudos and was divided into Pesukim was it kosher? I resolved that it was. I woke up and understood the hint.

That day I was to go into the Alter Rebbe’s room. When I stood at the threshold, he said “A Torah with Nekudos and Pesukim is invalid because the entire Torah is names of Hashem put together in combinations of words and letters.”
(Sefer HaToldos, Tzemach Tzedek)
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Unread 11-24-2002, 11:03 PM   #3
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The Origin of "Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus"

By Menachem Ziegelboim

"Gutt Yom Tov! Gutt Yom Tov!" happy voices called out in the hall of the yeshiva gedola in Lubavitch the night of Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus 5662 (1901), that year a Friday night. Candles were lit and tables were royally set, just as eyes shone and hearts raced, for this was a special holiday for Chabad chassidim, a holiday for Toras HaChassidus - actually a holiday for all of Creation.

The joy reached the heavens, but not many know that this joy was almost eradicated…

* * *

Kislev, the Month of Holidays and the Month of Geula. Chassidim look forward to the Festivals of the Liberation of the Alter Rebbe and the Mitteler Rebbe. Yud-Tes Kislev was always celebrated in the great hall of the yeshiva in Lubavitch with great pomp and joy, the Rebbe Rashab farbrenging at the head of the table. Aside from hundreds of T’mimim who learned in the yeshiva, hundreds of chassidim and baalei battim came to participate in this farbrengen with the Rebbe Rashab.

How magnificent was the Rebbe! His face shone with a G-dly light, a light of joy, radiating from his pure face. The Rebbe said a maamer chassidus and many sichos kodesh, which the heart and neshama enjoyed. Gashmius was not lacking, but who paid attention to trivialities?

In Kislev 5662, enemies of the Jews in Russia raised their heads and began persecuting Jews. The pretext: allegations that the chassid R’ Mendel Horenstein, brother-in-law of the Rebbe Rashab, burned down his own factory in order to damage merchandise belonging to a gentile. The charge was baseless, yet R’ Mendel was imprisoned to await trial.

The Rebbe Rashab suffered greatly. "A heavy cloud rested upon my father’s face," related the Rebbe Rayatz. On 5 Kislev, the Rebbe suddenly left Lubavitch for Moscow on R’ Mendel’s behalf, hiring a top lawyer in an attempt to obtain R’ Mendel’s release.

The trip was sudden and unexpected. Everyone thought the Rebbe would return in time for Yud-Tes Kislev, but as days passed, the chassidim and T’mimim began to doubt whether this would indeed be so.

Doubt became certainty following a committee meeting of T’mimim with the Rebbe Rayatz, menahel of the yeshiva, officially informing them of the improbability of his father’s celebration with the yeshiva. The menahel told the talmidim to celebrate on Yud-Tes Kislev as they did every year: students of the yeshiva gavoha and yeshiva ketana would eat together with the mashpiim, mashgichim, roshei yeshiva, magidei shiurim, and even those who worked in the yeshiva offices. Moreover, to add to the celebration, this seuda was set to take place in the spacious yeshiva hall, as opposed to the yeshiva dining room where the students usually ate.

However, when the committee, composed of the oldest and most serious bachurim in the yeshiva, heard what the Rebbe Rayatz had said, they were stunned. They all yearned to be with the Rebbe Rashab at this farbrengen, to see him and to hear every word he uttered, and now… it simply wasn’t going to happen.

For the rest of the week preceding Yud-Tes Kislev, preparations went on as usual with the hope and faith that perhaps the Rebbe would return to Lubavitch after all. A special committee of bachurim was established to organize the farbrengens and festivities. Many guests streamed to Lubavitch for the big day, among them famous ziknei ha’chassidim, such as R’ Dovid Tzvi Chein from Chernigov (the Radatz), and the outstanding chassid Rav Dov Zev Koznikov, the rav of Yekaterinaslav. People were full of anticipation, for who knew? Just maybe…

The yeshiva’s hanhala convened to discuss the upcoming event, deciding that although the Rebbe wouldn’t be there, everything would carry on as usual. The mashpiim also agreed that the T’mimim from other cities, who had already received permission to come to Lubavitch for Yud-Tes Kislev to be with the Rebbe, should still come.

Thursday, the 17th of Kislev. The grand farbrengen would be taking place the following evening. Although little time remained, chassidim still hoped the Rebbe would make a last-minute appearance, but as time passed, "the cloud of gloom intensified," as the Rebbe Rayatz put it.

At 8:00 a.m., the two great chassidim, the Radatz and the rav of Yekaterinaslav, met and discussed the possibility of asking the Rebbe to come back especially for Yud-Tes Kislev, and whether all the talmidim could go to him. In the evening they went to Rebbetzin Rivka, the Rebbe Rashab’s mother, with the request that she ask the Rebbe to come to Lubavitch even for one day.

The Rebbetzin answered, "I am certain that if he could come, he would certainly do so." Then she added, "I cannot ask of him something which his holy daas doesn’t agree with." The two chassidim left her, heavyhearted.

* * *

At 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, the mailman knocked on the office door of Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim and delivered a letter. The Rebbe Rayatz opened the door and saw it was a letter from his father. This was a fundamental letter explaining the significance of Yud-Tes Kislev. It had been written especially for the grand farbrengen that would take place the next night, as a substitute for the Rebbe Rashab’s presence.

The Rebbe Rayatz rejoiced. He rushed to the hall of the yeshiva gedola, went up to the podium, and amidst the mashgichim and mashpiim he joyfully announced: "We have just merited to receive a holy letter from my holy father, my teacher and Rebbe. The letter explains the significance of the upcoming holy day. With Hashem’s help, tomorrow at the farbrengen, the letter will be read to everyone."

Many of the bachurim were uplifted and the heavy spirit was somewhat alleviated, even as they understood that a letter could not replace the Rebbe himself.

In the meantime, the members of the committee worked around the clock to ensure that all was prepared before Shabbos. The yeshiva’s hall was washed and decorated. Long tables and hundreds of chairs were arranged. Beautiful vessels were brought from the home of the Rebbe Rashab and placed on the tables.

Many talmidim worked for hours setting up candles on the walls. Rows upon rows of candles were arranged. 1,668 candles were set up to correspond to the words "Chag Rabbeinu ha’gadol v’ha’kadosh nishmaso Eden." The hall was flooded with light, a marvelous sight to behold.

On the notice board of the yeshiva was hung a sign with the day’s order of events:

THE PROGRAM FOR THE GRAND CELEBRATION

The Chagiga on Motzaei Shabbos [In Kerem Chabad, it states that the main celebration was on Motzaei Shabbos, whereas in most sources it appears that it took place on Friday night. Possibly the celebration was held on both nights, as seemingly indicated in the writings of the Rebbe Rayatz.]

Maariv is 5:00 in the heichal beis ha’t’filla.

At 5:30 the large hall will be opened and all are invited to enter.

Hot drinks.

The menahel [Rebbe Rayatz] will read the letter from the Rebbe and founder, which discusses the significance of the day.

At 6:30 the gaon from Yekat[erinaslav] will read the letter "Katonti" in Tanya, and ten students from the yeshiva will distribute to each visitor a volume of Tanya to follow along in while listening. All this will take a half an hour. (Everybody is asked to sit in their places and not disturb the program.)

At 8:00, drinks and l’chaim and refreshments and niggunim, until 9:00.

From 9:00 until 10:00 - break.

Seuda from 10 until 1:00 a.m., and until 3:00, singing and dancing.

The door is open to all who wish to attend, but the honored kahal is requested to follow the instructions of the house staff and of those appointed to keep order.

* * *

The Shabbos Queen spread her wings over Lubavitch. It seemed as though not only an extra neshama had descended upon the hundreds of talmidim and guests, but a double and redoubled neshama - double for Shabbos and redoubled for the Chag HaChagim, Yud-Tes Kislev.

Everyone gathered in the yeshiva. There is no better way to begin this holy day than by learning chassidus. Hundreds of talmidim sat and learned. The sound of Torah echoed loudly, extending beyond the windows of the zal.

After an hour and a half of learning, the gabbai announced a break for Kabbalas Shabbos. When davening was over, the gabbai announced that the Rebbe’s letter would be read.

With measured steps, the Rebbe Rayatz walked over to the podium with the two mashgichim (of the sidrei chassidus and sidrei nigleh) at his right and his left. The sight was reminiscent of the Rebbe’s t’kias shofar, when the Rebbe stood at the lectern surrounded by chassidim. All rose, as is befitting for chassidim who are being addressed by their Rebbe.

The tension was palpable and the inner joy was boundless. Silence reigned as the only sound heard was the rustling of the letter. The Rebbe Rayatz began reading aloud. Each word was golden, each letter a sparkling jewel. "My children, sh’yichyu," he began, and the loving voice of the father could be heard throughout the hall.

B"H. Yom Dalet, 16 Kislev 5662 Moscow

My sons, gather together on Yud-Tes Kislev, which comes upon us for good - those who learn, their leaders and their teachers and their mashgichim - and rejoice with the joy of the holiday which redeemed our souls in peace, and the light and life of our souls was given to us. This day is the Rosh HaShana for chassidus that our holy fathers bequeathed to us, and this is the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov, z’l.

This day is the beginning of Your work, the completion of the true intention of the creation of man on earth, to further draw down the revelation of the inner light of our holy Torah, which was drawn down on this day in a general way for the entire year. We must arouse our hearts on this day with desire, and inner, essential will with the true [innermost] point of our hearts, which will illuminate our souls with the light of the inner part of His Torah.

From the depths I call out to You, Hashem, to draw the aspect of the depth and pnimiyus of Toras Hashem and the mitzvos of Hashem from the aspect of the innermost and essential Ohr Ein Sof Boruch Hu, so that it illumine the inner part of our souls, so that our entire essence (i.e., our entire beings, the essence and its expressions, etc.) will be [directed] to Him, blessed is He, alone - so that He banish from us every evil and disgusting trait of the natural traits, so that all our deeds and affairs (whether in avoda, i.e., t’filla, Torah and mitzvos, or in matters of the world which are necessary to sustain the body) are in accordance with the true intention, for the sake of Heaven, as per the desire of Hashem, etc. May Hashem, Father of Mercy, have mercy on us and enliven us in the proper and straight path; forthwith they shall see His countenance, etc.

Concluding the reading, all the students sat and began singing an old chassidic tune, a tune that pierced the heart and reached to the neshama. The niggun poured forth sweetly, emanating from the hundreds of students in unison.

It turned out that it was at this farbrengen that the chassidim first merited to hear the unique appellation with which the Rebbe Rashab termed Yud-Tes Kislev in his holy letter, calling it "Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus,"as it has been known ever since.

At 6:45 p.m., R’ Dov Zev rose to relate the story of the arrest and geula. In vivid tones he described the pain experienced by the chassidim when the Alter Rebbe was taken from them - the agony, the sorrow, the tears. He recounted the entire story up until the release of the Alter Rebbe from jail. He described the chassidim somersaulting in the snowy streets of Petersburg, and the tremendous joy they all experienced.

At this point R’ Dov Zev took a Tanya and began reading the famous letter the Alter Rebbe wrote entitled "Katonti." The talmidim leaned over the volumes of Tanya in front of them, reading the holy letters, learning from the teachings of the Baal HaGeula. All listened in utter silence. The only sound that could be heard was the sputtering of thousands of candles.

When the reading was concluded, an old chassid by the name of R’ Shmuel Betzalel (the Rashbatz) stood up. He had seen many Yud-Tes Kislevs in his time, but this was the first time he heard the wondrous phrase the Rebbe Rashab wrote designating this day as "Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus," elevating it over other holidays.

The Rashbatz raised a cup for l’chaim and his voice shook with emotion. The talmidim gazed upon him, always in awe, for he had merited to see the Tzemach Tzedek.

"Our day of celebration is extremely lofty," the Rashbatz began. "If not for this day, the day of redemption and freedom of our great and holy Rebbe, we wouldn’t know Hashem, Who gave the Torah, for Rabbeinu HaKadosh taught us to know Hashem, our Maker. We ought to rejoice on this day of light, and included in this are the words of our luminary the Rebbe shlita, that this day is the Rosh HaShana for chassidus and the day of revelation of pnimiyus ha’Torah. We must offer thanks and praise to Hashem, who did not deprive us of descendants of Rabbeinu HaGadol, the Alter Rebbe.

"T’mimim! We have the Rebbe, who stands and serves before Hashem to teach knowledge of Torah and Hashem, Who gave the Torah - our Nasi and teacher, the crown of our glory, who shows us wonders like in the days of the Alter Rebbe, to return the heart of beloved children to their Father in Heaven. I raise my cup to the life of our Rebbe, and with all the strength of my soul I call out: "Yechi Rabbeinu l’olam! May Hashem bolster his strength and power to carry the tower of light to illuminate the earth and its inhabitants upon it, until the coming of Moshiach!"

A resounding voice could be heard from one end of the hall to the other: "Amen! Amen! Yechi Rabbeinu L’olam! May the members of Tomchei T’mimim and all its administrators live forever!"

These were special moments, not just for the younger chassidim, but also for the older chassidim who sat at the head of the main table. They all raised cups for l’chaim and wished each other heartfelt brachos for the new year, the new year for chassidus for all the Jewish people, for good and blessing.

After a brief break, the meal began, which continued until 2:00 a.m. It was a royal feast fitting for the Holiday of Holidays, Yud-Tes Kislev. At the end of the meal, all danced, and Lubavitch was "ora v’simcha v’sason v’yikar."

At 3:00 a.m., the Rebbe Rayatz rose and blessed all present, and with great love he left the guests and talmidim. He turned to leave, the talmidim preceding him, all of whom stood in the doorway of the building in two long, straight rows. When he left they began singing, "Ki b’simcha tzeitzeiu u’v’shalom tuvalun," and they accompanied the Rebbe Rayatz to his home.

"All the invited guests took enormous pleasure from the splendid celebration, and their hearts rejoiced and expanded… The talmidim were positively affected by this celebration, for they were brought close to avodas Hashem, and they increased their diligence in Torah with faith and sincerity."

These lines concluded the account of Rabbi Moshe Rosenblum, secretary to the Rebbe Rayatz.

* * *

Since the great revelation of Kislev 5662, the chassidim began calling Yud-Tes Kislev "Rosh HaShana L’Chassidus." In later years the traditional phrase became "Gutt Yom Tov. L’shana tova b’limud ha’chassidus u’b’darkei ha’chassidus tikaseivu v’seichaseimu." The HaYom Yom begins and ends with Yud-Tes Kislev, as the Rebbe Rayatz wrote, "based on the holy letter of the Rebbe about the Chag HaChagim, which is the Rosh HaShana l’Toras Chassidus Chabad." (In a copy of the manuscript of the HaYom Yom, the Rebbe MH"M wrote "Gutt Yom Tov," and the Rebbe Rayatz added in his own handwriting, "for a good year in learning chassidus and the ways of chassidus.")

Chassidim who lived in Brisk received the letter from the Rebbe Rashab making Yud-Tes Kislev into a chassidic Rosh HaShana, and they wanted to establish a day of joy on Purim Katan as a substitute for the previous Yud-Tes Kislev. When R’ Chaim Brisker heard about this he said, "Don’t mix one simcha with another. The Yom Tov of Yud-Tes Kislev is deserving of a bracha in its own right."

However, the chassidim in Kremenchug established three days of simcha (the 16th, 17th and 18th of Shvat), and the rabbanim associated with the chassidim of Poland, such as R’ Yisroel Yaakov and Rabbi Terechinski, danced without jackets and said, "Chabad, baruch Hashem, lives. May Hashem make Chagas (chassidim of Poland) live, too."

The chassidim in Vilna had a huge seuda as soon as they received the letter. One of the rabbis in Vilna heard about the meal the chassidim were making and how they regarded Yud-Tes Kislev as Rosh HaShana. He reported this to R’ Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, mocking the chassidim because the Mishna enumerates only four Roshei HaShana, while the chassidim had five. The gaon responded: "They are adding - we are diminishing."

Sources: Seifer HaToldos Admur HaRashab, pp. 752+, Kerem Chabad, Vol. 3, pp. 45+
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Unread 11-24-2002, 11:12 PM   #4
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To read this report in Hebrew go to http://kfar-chabad.com/archive.asp?cat_id=74&mag_id=976
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Unread 11-25-2002, 12:40 AM   #5
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Leho'ir: In the letter by the Rebbe Nishmaso Eden (printed in Kuntres Uma'ayon, p. 17) it reads: Vekorov hadavar asher hayom hazeh hu Rosh Hashana L'Dach.

However, in Hayom Yom its states: Hayom Hazeh hu Rosh Hashana L'Dach.

vlo bosi rak leha'ir.
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Unread 11-25-2002, 01:27 AM   #6
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See also Likutei Diburim p. 1518 and further.
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Unread 11-25-2002, 12:54 PM   #7
Jude
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Poshut: the Rebbe repeated the following many times:

the Fr. Rebbe reported to his father about a maamar of his father (the Rebbe Rashab) that he said over for his father-in-law. The Rebbe Rashab had used a lashon of "perhaps" about something, but when the Fr. Rebbe said it over, he repeated it as fact.

When his father questioned him about this, saying, "I said "maybe," the Fr. Rebbe responded by saying that what is "perhaps" for the Rebbe, is definite by the Chassid.

Last edited by Jude; 12-11-2003 at 12:31 PM.
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Unread 11-25-2002, 05:57 PM   #8
poshut
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exactly my point.
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Unread 12-07-2003, 01:33 PM   #9
Jude
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At the Yud-Tes Kislev celebration of 5702 (1942), the Rebbe Rayatz said:

We Chabad Chassidim have a custom, a custom of the Alter Rebbe’s Chassidim, that on Yud-Tes Kislev we say, "gutt Yom Tov" before and after Maariv, and throughout Yud-Tes Kislev when Chassidim meet in shul or on the street.

In 5703 the HaYom Yom was printed for the first time. At the end, the entry for 18 Kislev says: "Gutt Yom Tov, l’shana tova b’limud ha’Chassidus v’darkei ha’Chassidus teichaseivu v’seichaseimu" (Good Yom Tov, may you be written and sealed for a good year in learning Chassidus and the ways of Chassidus.)
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Unread 12-07-2003, 01:34 PM   #10
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Among the early emigres of Anash to New York was a Jew by the name of Shmuel Eliezer Katznelson (who later shortened his name to Nelson), who was a grandson of the famous gaon, R’ Boruch Mordechai of Bobruisk, a great Chassid of the Alter Rebbe. R’ Shmuel Eliezer was well-to-do, and every year he was involved in arranging the Yud-Tes Kislev celebration in a restaurant this being America with meat and fish, etc., for he said that he had heard in the name of his grandfather’s father, the gaon, R’ Baruch Mordechai, that the Alter Rebbe had said: Whoever participates in my simcha, will merit to see nachas from his descendents.

(Zichron Livnei Yisroel p. 119)
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Unread 12-07-2003, 01:35 PM   #11
Jude
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The Chassid R’ Nachum Goldschmidt, a’h, described the Yud-Tes Kislev farbrengen of the gaon and mekubal, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson, in Yekaterinaslav. R’ Levik would expound his teachings throughout the night. A large crowd came to hear him, and he would speak for hours without a break about deep matters, and would connect them to kabbala, nigleh, and Chassidus. He would drink a great deal of mashke, and would explain, for example, why, according to kabbala, the Alter Rebbe was freed on specifically this day and not another.

Even the children of Yeketrinislav would have a feast on Yud-Tes Kislev, but it was held on a different night so as not to interfere with the Rav’s farbrengen. A few days before Yud-Kislev, they collected money for their farbrengen. The Rebbe shlita was in charge of the money. He was the leader of the children, as he was the firstborn. They cooked kasha and arranged a meal; it was a great celebration.

This was the only day of the year that the Rebbe shlita would do something other than learn Torah.

(Yemei Melech, p. 152)
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Unread 12-07-2003, 01:37 PM   #12
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Among those participating in the Yud-Tes farbrengen of 5653 (1892) with the Rebbe Rashab, was a Chassid who had particularly enjoyed one of the thoughts the Rebbe had expressed about chibuv mitzvos (love of mitzvos).

On Yud-Tes Kislev it is customary to eat kasha. (In Lubavitch they called it "black kasha" and they explained that it was to remember the food the Alter Rebbe ate in prison. The Rebbe Rayatz related in the name of the Chassidim who brought the Alter Rebbe a bucket of water and bread, that this is what he ate. On Shabbos they brought him beer or mead.) Every country has its favorite food, and in Lithuania it was kasha.

When the Jew heard about a love of mitzvos with taanug (pleasure), he ate the kasha with gusto. When the Rebbe noticed that the enjoyment of what he had said had been transferred to the food, which was eaten with pleasure and not the way a Chassid is supposed to eat, he said, "You forgot you are eating kasha."

He explained that the brain of that individual had enjoyed the explanation of chibuv mitzvos, and this led to a natural pleasure in eating kasha. But the person eating did not sense it since he was occupied with what he had heard. That’s why the Rebbe reminded him to remember he was eating kasha.

(Seifer HaSichos 5698, p. 250-1)
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Unread 12-07-2003, 01:38 PM   #13
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When the Alter Rebbe was in jail, his teacher the Maggid and the Maggid’s teacher the Baal Shem Tov came to him from the World of Truth. They came as souls within bodies. The Rebbe Rayatz once visited the cell (when he was in Petersburg in the summer of 5671- 1911), and when he returned, his father asked him if the cell had enough room for three people!

This question proves that they came as souls in bodies. And we know that when a soul is revealed in a body it is a far greater revelation than that of a soul without a body.

(Sicha 19 Kislev 5711)
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Unread 12-08-2003, 05:26 PM   #14
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The Maggid's Tahara (originally posted by Yankel Nosson; additions/changes based on Sefer Ha'Toldos)

The news of the Maggid's passing caused a dispute between the local chevrah kadishah (burial society) and the Maggid's followers as to who should bury him. The dispute went to arbitration and the rabbis ruled in favor of the Chevra Kadisha, stipulating that only those of the students who were bona fide members of the Chevra Kadisha in their hometowns could participate in the tahara on an equal footing with the locals.

As is known, while still a child, the Alter Rebbe became a member of the Chevra Kadisha in the town of Liozna, and so he was permitted to participate in the tahara of the Maggid.

The pupils then cast lots to see who would wash which part of the Maggid's body. R. Shneur Zalman was privileged to wash
the head.

As the Magid was being carried to the mikva, R. Shneur Zalman said, "Our Sages say that Tzaddikim are greater in their death than in life. Since this is so, let the Rebbe immerse himself."

Everyone present kept his place and the Maggid was allowed to immerse himself. He did so three times.

He is buried in Anipoli.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 11:50 AM   #15
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Forgive me for re-posting this, but I thought the following vort was so powerful that it was worth repeating (it was posted above by Tzemach, among several other 19 Kislev inyanim).

Quote:
The Mitteler Rebbe said of the arrest, “My father agreed to be arrested because he wanted to test the brotherly love of Chasidim. How would they accept his arrest?”

The Friediker Rebbe said, “I one told my father this. He said, “I searched through Seforim to find how it’s permitted according to Torah, to put oneself in danger to see the Midos and brotherly love of Chasidim.”

My father concluded that a shepherd of B’nei Yisroel must know what is happening with his flock. “If the Alter Rebbe would have known this was missing from Chasidim he would have to correct it. To do this it was worth putting himself in danger.” The Rebbe Rashab said the brotherly love of Chasidim is their nature; if someone’s missing this he is blemished, as if someone would be born missing a limb, Chas V’Shalom.

(Sichah Yud Tes Kislev 5697)
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....and (the Jewish people) believed in Hashem and in His servant Moishe.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 03:40 PM   #16
Jude
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another reason why the Alter Rebbe allowed himself to be arrested:

R' Boruch of Mezhibozh asked the Alter Rebbe: Why did you go to jail? You could simply have gone like this (and he wiped his hand across his forehead) and the Russian govt. would have toppled!

The Alter Rebbe replied: It was so that when Chasidus is vindicated, it won't just be for a group within Klal Yisrael, but something for ALL Jews.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 03:42 PM   #17
RebMoshe
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jude

R' Boruch of Mezhibozh asked the Alter Rebbe:

I thought the two did not get along so well.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 03:56 PM   #18
Jude
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nu, so they had differences of opinion, so?
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Unread 12-09-2003, 04:09 PM   #19
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A) They got along up to certain point in time, and B) they communicated anyway - the issues among the different groups of Chasidim never reached the level of hatred the Misnagdim directed towards the Chasidim, BH. (In those times - I'm not referring to these days.)
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Unread 12-09-2003, 05:00 PM   #20
Jude
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Why did the Besht and Maggid come as physical beings?

Because the point of Chasidus is to change one's midos, the nature of the midos of the animal soul which are connected to one's body, and for this one needs pnimiyus ha'Torah. This is why the Alter Rebbe "brought down" Chasidus into an intellectual form so that even the body and animal soul can absorb it in a pnimiyusdike way.

Obviously, when they agreed up Above to the spreading of Chasidus, i.e. that every Jew can (and must) learn and understand this Torah, this approval was conveyed davka through souls in bodies.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 05:11 PM   #21
Jude
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for a selection of articles on Yud-tes Kislev, look here:

http://www.chabad.org/magazine/article.asp?AID=63817
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Unread 12-09-2003, 07:23 PM   #22
RebMoshe
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bittul
A) They got along up to certain point in time, and B) they communicated anyway - the issues among the different groups of Chasidim never reached the level of hatred the Misnagdim directed towards the Chasidim, BH. (In those times - I'm not referring to these days.)
I recall the controversy with Reb Nachman, which was around that time. Also I understand that the Rebbe Reb Boruch was especially opposed to the derech of the AR. I am sure you know some of the stories.
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Unread 12-09-2003, 09:10 PM   #23
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Any excuse, RebMoshe, any excuse...
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Chassidim must study Chassidus--HaYom Yom 21Kislev
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Unread 12-10-2003, 12:49 PM   #24
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Your innocent posts I don't mind answering. You have about 2 of those out of the last 300.
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Unread 12-10-2003, 06:07 PM   #25
Jude
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What is the significance of the phrase Rosh Hashana of Chassidus?

Sefer Ha'Sichos 5750, p. 175 - the Rebbe explains:

The Rebbe Rashab (quoted in Ha'Yom Yom) says that Yud-tes Kislev is the "beginning of Your work," the completion of the true purpose of Creation of Man.

We wish each other "l'shana tova b'limud ha'Chasidus v'darchei ha'Chasidus tikaseivu v'seichaseimu, so the inyan of "Rosh Hashana" on 19 Kislev has a special connection to Rosh Hashana (that we celebrate in Tishrei). We find that 19 Kislev comes out on the same day of the week as Rosh Hashana (the 1st day of RH if Cheshvan is 29 days and the 2nd day if Cheshvan is 30).

The idea of Rosh Hashana is "make Me King over you," that Yisrael crown Hashem as King over the Jewish people and the entire world. This inyan is revealed on Rosh Hashana l'Chasidus which marks the spreading of the wellsprings outward so that (eventually) the entire world recognizes that Hashem is "King over the entire world."

So in addition to 19 Kislev being a Rosh Hashana for Chasidus, it is also the "pnimiyus" of the Rosh Hashana in Tishrei, because what we do on Rosh Hashana in renewing and drawing down Hashem's mida of malchus from its source, is revealed on 19 Kislev, Rosh Hashana L'Chasidus, so that Hashem's malchus is openly visible.
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