Basi Le Gani
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.... .... Basi LeGani Chassidic Discourses by Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn ... of Lubavitch & Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ...... of Lubavitch ..... ...... ........ www.hebrewbooks.org ... .... .....
.... .... Basi LeGani The Last Chassidic Discourse by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn ... Yud Shevat 5710 ( 1 9 5 0 ; (.... and The First Chassidic Discourse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ...... Yud Shevat 5711 ( 1 9 5 1 ; (..... . . . . . . .....^ KEHOT PUBLICATION SOCIETY 770 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11213 5750 1990 . . . . ... .... V
BASI LEGANI Published and Copyrighted by "KEHOT" PUBLICATION SOCIETY 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11213 Tel. (718) 778-5436 (718) 493-9250 (718) 774-4000 5750 1990 ISBN 0-8266-0481-1
.... .... Basi LeGani The Last Chassidic Discourse by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn ... Yud Shevat 5710 ( 1 9 5 0 ; (.... Based on a Translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger The First Chassidic Discourse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ...... Yud Shevat 5711 ( 1 9 5 1 ; (..... Based on a Translation by Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg Edited by Uri Kaploun
Table of Contents Publisher's Preface ix Editor's Note xiii Customs Relating to Yud Shevat xv Maamar Basi LeGani 5 7 1 0 ( 1 9 5 0 ; (.... Part I Maamar Basi LeGani 1 Part II Maamar HaYosheves BaGanim 26 Part III The Maamar Released for Purim 5710 49 Part IV The Maamar Released for Beis Nissan 5710 ... 66 Maamar Basi LeGani 5711 ( ( 1 9 5 1 ; 81 .....
... Publisher's Preface We are standing at a memorable milestone. The Tenth of Shvat this year marks the fortieth anniversary of the passing of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of blessed memory. Moreover, this date marks the day of the ascendancy to leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Before his passing, the Previous Rebbe wrote a four-part series of chassidic discourses (a hemshech of maamarim) based on the verse from Shir Hashirim, .... .... ..... ... " I have come into My garden, My sister, My bride."1 Its first part, comprising five chapters, was released in advance with the intention that it be studied on Yud Shvat, to mark the anniversary of the passing of the author's saintly grandmother. As it transpired, this was to be the date of his own passing. Since "all the effort of man for which his soul toiled during his lifetime...becomes revealed...at the time of his passing,"2 it is clear that this series encapsulates the parting message of the Previous Rebbe's life-work. Indeed, less than a year later the Rebbe Shlita said: " I would like to suggest that we all commit to memory the maamar entitled Basi LeGani, in its entirety or in part.... In times of confusion or of doubt,...we should think it through. It is not the quantity that counts. What matters...is that we connect ourselves to the source Mastering the maamar will nourish our soul-connection (hiskashrus) with its author not only when we recite it, but at other times too our minds will be suffused thereby with the [Previous] Rebbe's teachings."3 Part II of the series was intended by the author to be studied on the Thirteenth of Shvat, to mark the anniversary of the passing of his saintly mother. Part III was to have been 1. 5:1. 2. Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 28. 3. In a public talk, Yud-Tes Kislev 5711. ix
released in time for study on Purim, and Part IV was intended for Beis Nissan, the anniversary of the passing of the author's father, the Rebbe Rashab, of blessed memory. The introductions, conclusions and chapter summaries of the last two Parts were never composed; the Rebbe Shlita released them for publication in the form in which they left their author's hand. Year by year, it has been the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to expound another chapter of the series in a discourse of his own. (The first twenty such maamarim first appeared in 5737 in a Hebrew volume entitled Sefer HaMaamarim Basi LeGani.) The first of the series, delivered on the first anniversary of the passing of the Previous Rebbe, is particularly noteworthy: it was the first maamar delivered by the Rebbe Shlita after he had taken up the mantle of leadership. In honor of the approaching forty-year milestone, Kehot Publication Society is proud to publish these two works in one English-language volume: Basi LeGani 5710, the last series of maamarim of the Previous Rebbe, and Basi LeGani 5711, the first maamar of the Rebbe Shlita. The former series was originally published by Sichos In English in 5740 (1980) in a translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger; the latter maamar was originally published by Sichos In English in 5748 (1988) in a translation by Rabbi Sholom Ber Wineberg. For the present volume, both translations have now been edited by Uri Kaploun. The original Hebrew texts were intended to read like transcripts of oral presentations. The translation only partly attempts to convert this structure into the more familiar essay style, while adding phrases where needed to clarify obscurities and to maintain a free flow of ideas. The original text and the [bracketed] additions are intended to be read as one interwoven continuum. (Parentheses appear as used in x
the original.) All the unbracketed footnotes were written by the Rebbe Shlita for the original Hebrew editions. It is our hope that the publication of this translation will in some measure help this "seventh generation" to accomplish its task4 of completing the historic process of drawing the Divine Presence back into this material world. Sichos In English Motzaei Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Shvat, 5750 ... . . . ... .... 4. Basi LeGani 5711, end of ch. 3, below. xi
Editor's Note In a tiny Australian townlet called Shepparton, which was to carry the seed of today's thriving empire of ChabadLubavitch activity that spans the entire continent, an elderly chassid woke up suddenly one Friday night. This was my late grandfather, Reb Moishe Zalman Feiglin ... , a chassid who for decades had been bound with every thread of his noble soul to the Previous Rebbe, of blessed memory, even though during their time in this world they had never met. As he was then recently widowed, his twelve-year-old grandson (the editor of this volume) slept in his house to keep him company. On that Friday night he hurried anxiously into the diningroom, where I followed him, to discover what had woken him: a framed photograph of the Previous Rebbe, which for years had occupied pride of place on a sideboard at the head of the room, had fallen to the floor. Pointing at the shattered glass he said quietly, "Something has happened!" I did my best to reassure him that there must have been a draft or perhaps a tremor, but to no avail. On Shabbos morning he shared his concern with our learned neighbor Reb Bezalel Wilschansky, the first of the Previous Rebbe's emissaries to Australia, who had come by as always to say Gut Shabbos, and to accompany my grandfather and my father ... to shul. He too sought to reassure my grandfather. Now my zeide was a man who had never been known to be shocked out of his tranquil faith and equanimity. This Shabbos, the only time in my recollection, he could find no peace. Finally, some time after Shabbos, the ominous telegram arrived from Brooklyn. The date of that Shabbos was the Tenth of Shvat 5710 (1950). ...... ... ..... May his everlasting merit protect us. U.K. xiii
Customs Relating to Yud Shvat By the Grace of G-d Rosh Chodesh Shvat, 5711 Brooklyn, N.Y. To Anash, to the students of Tomchei Temimim, and to those who have a bond or a relationship with my revered father-in-law the saintly Rebbe, of blessed memory: G-d bless you all. Greeting and blessings: In reply to the many questions that have been asked about a detailed schedule for the Tenth of Shvat, the yahrzeit of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, I would hereby suggest the following:5 1. On the Shabbos before the yahrzeit [each chassid] should attempt to be called for an aliyah to the Torah. 2. If there are not enough aliyos the Torah should be read [a number of times] in different rooms. However, no additions6 should be made to the number of aliyos [at each reading]. 3. The congregation should see to it that the Maftir should be the most respected member of the congregation, as determined by the majority of the congregation; alternatively, the choice should be determined by lot. 4. The congregation should choose someone to lead the prayers on the day of the yahrzeit. It is proper to divide [the honor, choosing] one person to lead Maariv, a second to lead 5. See also the letter of my saintly father-in-law, the Rebbe, concerning the first yahrzeit of his father, the Rebbe Rashab (in Chachmei Yisroel Baal Shem Tov, p. 33). 6. A directive of the saintly Rebbe, on the authority of his father. See also the She'elos UTeshuvos of the Tzemach Tzedek, Orach Chayim 35. xv
Shacharis, and a third Minchah. In this way a greater number of Anash will have the privilege. 5. A [yahrzeit] candle should be lit that will burn throughout the twenty-four hours. If possible, the candle should be of beeswax.7 6. Five candles8 should burn during the prayer services. 7. After each prayer service (and in the morning, [this means] after the reading of Tehillim), the sheliach tzibbur should study (or at least conclude4 the study of) ch. 24 of Mishnayos Keilim and ch. 7 of Mishnayos Mikvaos. He should then recite the mishnah beginning "Rabbi Chananyah ben Akashyah...," followed silently by a few lines of Tanya,9 and Kaddish deRabbanan. 8. After Maariv, part of the maamar (Basi LeGani) that was released for the day of the demise should be recited from memory. If there is no one to do this from memory, it should be studied from the text. This should also be done after Shacharis, and the maamar should be concluded after Minchah. 9. Before Shacharis, a chapte