Today is Yud Shevat.
It was on this day, the 10th of Shevat, that the Previous Rebbe, the sixth Rebbe of Chabad, passed away in 1950. One year later, his son-in-law, the Rebbe, until then known as Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, assumed leadership of Chabad, and gave his first maamar, or Chassidic discourse, as Rebbe. To this day, Yud Sheat is marked by commemoration of the two Rebbes. It is the yahrzeit, the death anniversary, of the previous Rebbe, but it is also the day on which the Rebbe became leader. It’s a day of both sadness and joy. Of endings, and beginnings. Above all, it’s a day of renewal.
Many years have passed since the Previous Rebbe zt”l passed away, and yet his wisdom and piety still enrich our lives through his teachings. Similarly, the Rebbe’s ascension to power occured a long time ago, and since then, he has passed away, but his spirit remains with us. How can we keep their legacies alive? How can we honour their memories on this very special and important day?
We can learn a lot from the nature of today. It is a day of renewal. A day of rebirth. The end of an era, and the start of another one. And so, just as the Lubavitch movemment renewed itself, we must do the same. Let us take this day to examine our shortcomings and fauls, and resolve to overcome them. We are entering into a new era, as we do on Yud Shevat every year, and we should look at today as a chance to improve ourselves, to begin again, and to strengthen our connection to G-d and His mitzvos.
It’s through the observance of mitzvos and the spreading of ahavos Yisroel- love among Jews- that we will keep the Rebbe’s spirit alive. We can learn from his actions and teachings, and utilise them to hasten the arrival of Moshiach. Today is our chance. Let’s begin again, start afresh, and begin our journey with a new commitment to G-dliness and the Lubavitch movement; for if we all make the decision to do this, Moshiach will be here in no time at all.
Please note- I designed the above image for the purpose of this article. Please don’t reproduce it without notifying me. Thank you!