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Publisher's Foreword

Devotion to Task

Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch & Machne Israel Must Not Falter

A Lifeline

Being Alive and Communicating Vitality

Yud-Beis Tammuz: To Be Every Inch a Chassid

The Month of Av: Mercy in Disguise

Chaf Menachem Av: Holding Tight to the Rebbe's Doorknob

Parshas Re'eh and Elul: Making One's Own Animal Kosher

A Letter for Chai Elul

Sharing with Paupers in Body and Soul

Chai Elul: A King in the Fields

United We Stand

A Letter to Yeshivah Students

Rosh HaShanah: A Healthy Nerve-Center for the Coming Year

Founders of Chassidism & Leaders of Chabad-Lubavitch

Glossary and Biographical Index

Proceeding Together Volume 2
Talks by the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
After the Passing of the Previous Rebbe,
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn
on Yud Shvat 5710 [1950]

A Lifeline

Translated from Toras Menachem by Uri Kaploun

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  Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch & Machne Israel Must Not FalterBeing Alive and Communicating Vitality  

3 Tammuz, 5710 [1950]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Many[88] people seek to pinpoint and characterize the virtues and preeminence of each of the Rebbeim of Chabad, and in particular of the Nasi of our generation -- my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz] -- in various terms:[89] a man of self-sacrifice, a gaon, a man of exemplary character traits, a tzaddik, an individual endowed with divine inspiration, an individual accustomed to miracles, and so on.

When one considers how the teachings of Chassidus define what self-sacrifice really means, what being a gaon really means, and so on, these are indeed extremely laudatory terms.

Nevertheless, the essential point is missing here. Apart from its being the essence per se, it is especially important because of the way it vitally affects us in particular, the community of those who are his chassidim and who are bound to him. That essential point is -- the fact that he is the Nasi, and the Nasi of Chabad.

For a Nasi by definition is referred to as[90] the head of the multitudes of Israel; in relation to them he is the "head" and "brain"; their nurture and life-force reach them through him; and by cleaving to him they are bound and united with their Source in the Supernal worlds.

Nesi'im vary:[91] from some Nesi'im, the flow of energy is implanted within the spiritual psyche of the recipients; from others, the flow of energy is diffused indirectly and transcendentally. These differences may be further subdivided: some Nesi'im endow their recipients with insights into the revealed plane of the Torah, some endow their recipients with insights into the mystical plane of the Torah, and some do both together; some instruct their followers in the paths of avodah and Chassidus; some direct material benefactions to their followers; and so on.

In addition, there are Nesi'im who comprise several of these attributes, or even all of them.[92]

This quality has characterized the leadership of the Nesi'im of Chabad from the very beginning, from the Alter Rebbe, up to and including my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz]. Their benefactions incorporated all the above attributes: they were beamed both inwardly and transcendentally; they included instruction in Torah, in avodah and in the practice of good deeds; and they comprised blessings both spiritual and material. Consequently, the Nesi'im of Chabad have been bound[93] with all 613 organs of the soul and body of those who were connected with them.

Every single one of us must know -- i.e., must think deeply and fix his thought[94] on this -- that the Rebbe [Rayatz] is indeed the Nasi and the head; from him and through him are directed all material and spiritual benefactions; and by being bound to him (in his letters he has taught us how this is accomplished) we are bound and united with the spiritual root, with the ultimate Supernal spiritual root.

Menachem Schneerson



  1. (Back to text) This letter, dated 3 Tammuz, 5710 [1950], appears in Sefer HaMaamarim 5710, p. 254; Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XI, p. 209; and Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe, Vol. III, p. 331.

  2. (Back to text) See Igros Kodesh (op. cit.), p. 333.

  3. (Back to text) See Tanya, ch. 2.

  4. (Back to text) Discussed at length in: Torah Or, Parshas Miketz, s.v. Mitzvas Ner Chanukah; Sefer HaMitzvos (Derech Mitzvosecha) by the Tzemach Tzedek, s.v. Mitzvas Ner Chanukah, sec. 3; and in the maamar beginning Lemaan Daas, 5669 (in Sefer HaMaamarim 5669, p. 39ff.).

  5. (Back to text) As discussed in Torah Or (loc. cit.), end of sec. 7, Mashiach comprises the qualities of both ro'im and nesichim. In the Shas (Sukkah 52b), Mashiach is reckoned among the nesichim, evidently because this is his dominant quality.

  6. (Back to text) In the original (as a noun), hiskashrus.

  7. (Back to text) In the original, "know" is ladaas, implying attachment born of this kind of thinking; cf. Tanya, end of ch.3.

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