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Shabbos Parshas Behar-Bechukosai

The Address to the International Convention of N'shei uBnos Chabad

Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar

Shavuos & Shabbos Parshas Naso, 5750


Shabbos Parshas Behaalos'cha

To the Graduating Class of Bais Rivkah and the Girls who will be Serving as Counselors in Summer Camps

Shabbos Parshas Shelach

Shabbos Parshas Korach

Shabbos Parshas Chukas

Shabbos Parshas Balak


17th Day of Tammuz, 5750

Shabbos Parshas Pinchas

25th of Tammuz, 5750

Shabbos Parshas Matos-Masei

Shabbos Parshas Devarim, Shabbos Chazon

Shabbos Parshas Va'eschanan, Shabbos Nachamu

Shabbos Parshas Eikev

Tzivos Hashem, Day Camps

Shabbos Parshas Re'eh

Shabbos Parshas Shoftim

To the Campers of Emunah

Shabbos Parshas Ki Seitzei

Shabbos Parshas Ki Savo

N'shei uBnos Chabad

Shabbos Parshas Nitzavim-Vayeilech

The Blessing Delivered by the Rebbe Shlita upon Receiving the Pan Klali

Sichos In English
Volume 45

17th Day of Tammuz, 5750

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  Eve of the 17th of Tammuz, 575021st Day of Tammuz, 5750  


The prophets declare that the fast days "will be transformed into days of rejoicing and happiness, [becoming] festivals." Indeed, their festive nature will surpass that of the other holidays. Since this happiness will come through a process of transformation, it will have a superior quality, "as the transformation of darkness into light."

This implies that the inner nature of the fasts is positive. This is particularly apparent in regard to the 17th of Tammuz for 17 is the numerical equivalent of the word , meaning "good." This is reflected in the seventeen "good years" which Ya'akov, our Patriarch,[135] spent in the land of Egypt (a land whose name alludes to the concept of "boundaries and limitations" and is thus connected with a fast day).

Every Jew is a descendant of Ya'akov. In particular, this dimension is revealed when a Jew studies Torah, the service associated with Ya'akov. Although all three Patriarchs are referred to as "the forefathers of the Jewish people," Ya'akov shares a greater connection with each individual Jew. Tanya (Iggeres HaKodesh,[136] Chapter 7) explains that Ya'akov's soul contained the source for the 600,000 Jewish souls. The connection between these concepts is further emphasized by our Sages' interpretation of the name Yisrael as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, "There are 600,000 letters in the Torah."

[Although the census in this week's Torah portion included more than 600,000 men, that is possible because the 600,000 souls included in Ya'akov's soul were souls of a general nature. Each one of these souls subdivides into 600,000 particular souls.]

Similarly, Moshiach, who will bring the Jews to their ultimate state of fulfillment, is associated with Ya'akov as Bilaam prophesied, "A star will shoot forth from Ya'akov and a staff will emerge from Yisrael."

These concepts should be expressed in action. Each of the Patriarchs is associated with a particular service of G-d: Avraham is associated with the service of deeds of kindness; Yitzchok, with Avodah, service of G-d through prayer,[137] and Ya'akov, with Torah study as mentioned above. Each Jew is obligated to fulfill all three of these services: We are obligated to pray each day, to give tzedakah before prayer and afterwards, we must establish fixed times for Torah study.[138] Nevertheless, our obligation to study Torah is much more encompassing in nature. At every moment of the day, every day of the year,[139] a Jew is obligated to study Torah. Not a moment of the day should be left empty.

In particular, this should be reflected in sessions of communal Torah study[140] as explained by the Previous Rebbe in the maamar, Asarah SheYoshvim, which he released in connection with the first commemoration of Yud-Beis Tammuz. [Together with that maamar, he released the letter which describes the communal nature of his redemption, "The Holy One, Blessed be He, did not redeem me alone... but rather, all who love our holy Torah, fulfill its mitzvos, and all those who bear the name 'Jew.' "]

May this lead to the redemption of the entire people. This is particularly appropriate on the present day, whose numerical equivalent equals , "good," and the present season, the summer, when the sun shines brightly [reflecting a powerful revelation of the name, Y-H-V-H]. Similarly, it is connected with the present Torah portion, Parshas Pinchas. Pinchas is identified with Eliyahu, the prophet, who will announce the Messianic redemption. Similarly, this week's Torah portion includes the description of the division of Eretz Yisrael.[141] This will be paralleled in the Messianic age by the division of the complete Eretz Yisrael, the land of ten nations, reflecting the ten powers of the soul.[142]



  1. (Back to text) On the verse, "And Ya'akov dwelt in the land of his fathers," our Sages commented, "Ya'akov desired to dwell in comfort." Although that desire was not fulfilled immediately, ultimately it was fulfilled in Egypt. (We are forced to interpret the narrative in this manner, for otherwise, the request of a righteous person, Ya'akov, the "chosen of the Patriarchs," would have gone unfulfilled.)

  2. (Back to text) Iggeres HaKodesh is considered an integral part of the Tanya, "the Written Torah of Chassidus." Although it was not included in the text printed by the Alter Rebbe himself, it was added by his sons. Everything in the world is governed by Divine Providence. In particular, this applies to concepts associated with P'nimiyus HaTorah. Thus, the fact that the Tanya is printed in this manner, indicates that each of the portions included in it is an integral part of the text.

  3. (Back to text) More precisely, Avodah refers to the service of sacrifices. This must be paralleled in our individual service as implied by the verse, "A person who will bring from you an offering to G-d," i.e., the sacrifice must come from the person himself.

  4. (Back to text) Interestingly, the order in which these services: Tzedakah, prayer, and Torah study, are carried out corresponds to the chronological order of the Patriarchs with which they are associated: Avraham, Yitzchok, and Ya'akov, respectively.

  5. (Back to text) This also includes Tishah BeAv. Even though, last year, it was forbidden to study certain Torah subjects on Tishah BeAv, one must spend that entire day studying those aspects of Torah which we are permitted to study. [All this must be said about Tisha B'Av of last year. This year, ", the entire discussion will be merely theoretical in nature, because Moshiach will surely come before Tishah BeAv, indeed, we should expect his coming on the 17th of Tammuz itself.]

    The study of these subjects on Tishah BeAv can be understood in the context of the study of the criteria governing the association of priority to certain aspects of Torah study. On each holiday, the laws concerning that holiday are given priority. Similarly, on Tishah BeAv, the subjects of Torah which can be studied that day, are given priority.

  6. (Back to text) In particular, public sessions of study should be established in the Rambam's classic work, Mishneh Torah, which includes the entire Torah, both the written law and the oral law.

  7. (Back to text) This division was carried out by lots and also with the participation of Moshe, Elazar, the Priest, and the Nessi'im of each tribe. The participation of the Nessi'im emphasizes how a Nassi cares for the interests of those who depend on him. Surely this is true of the Previous Rebbe, the Nassi of our generation. His name, Yosef, indicates how he cares for everyone in his generation, even those estranged from their Jewish roots. This is reflected in Rachel's explanation of the name Yosef, "May G-d add on to me another son." Chassidus interprets this to mean that Yosef has the power to transform someone who is "another," estranged and alienated from his Jewish roots, into a "son."

  8. (Back to text) This relates to the story concerning Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok, the son of the Tzemach Tzedek who interpreted praying b'tzibbur (literally, "with the collective,") to mean, collecting the ten powers of one's soul.

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