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Yud Shevat (the 10th of Shevat)

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Chassidism » Chassidic Holidays | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The 10th of Shevat is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn (1880-1950), the sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, also known as “the Frierdiker Rebbe” or the “RaYYatz”

The Frierdiker Rebbe assumed leadership of the Chabad movement in Soviet Russia in 1920, shortly after the Communist Revolution. After the communist revolution in 1917, the Soviet government launched a vicious campaign against all religious activities and specifically Jewish education. Those involved in such “counter-revolutionary” activities were subject to imprisonment, torture, forced labor and execution.

Rabbi Schneersohn single-handedly kept the fire of Judaism burning behind the Iron Curtain. His loyal emissaries established underground Yeshivot, Mikvaot and other basic religious institutions, often sacrificing their own lives in the process.

After surviving Soviet imprisonment and being expelled from the USSR by the regime in 1927, Rabbi Schneersohn settled in Poland. He miraculously escaped Nazi-occupied Warsaw and arrived in the United States—physically broken, but with a determined spirit—in 1940. In America he adopted the slogan, “America is no different [than Torah-saturated Europe]” and proceeded to create the infrastructure of the now-famous Chabad outreach program, sending emissaries to far-flung communities to spread the light of Torah and Chassidut.

The following words were written by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok shortly after the passing of his father: “The mighty [leaders] of Israel, protectors of the land, even after they return their souls to the bosom of their Father in Heaven… not only do they not depart from the sheep of their flock, but furthermore, they ascend to the base of the Supernal Throne, to appear before the splendor of the exalted G-d, to protect the Jewish nation, to demand the mercy and kindness of the Father for His children, His Nation, His heritage.”

On this day, the 10th of Shevat, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok’s legendary son in law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, the present Lubavitcher Rebbe, assumed the leadership of the Chabad movement; continuing and exponentially expanding his predecessor’s work.


To read the Rebbe's prison diary, go to http://chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=2994.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

History » "The Rebbe"
Jewish Identity » Jewish "Labels" » Chabad
Chassidism » Chabad
Chassidism » Rebbe » "The Rebbe"
Holidays » Chassidic Holidays

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Shevat
The eleventh month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to January-February.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Chassidut
The teachings of the Chassidic masters. Chassidut takes mystical concepts such as G-d, the soul, and Torah, and makes them understandable, applicable and practical.
Lubavitch
Also known as “Chabad,” Lubavitch is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. “Lubavitch” is the name of the Belarusian city where four of the Chabad Rebbes (leaders) were based. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York, with branches worldwide. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.
yahrtzeit
The (Jewish calendar) anniversary of a person's death.