20th of Menachem-Av

Yahrtzeit of the Rebbe’s Father
The famed scholar, pious Rav and Kabbalist, Reb
Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, the Rebbe’s father, passed
away on the 20th of Av 5704 (1944). He passed away in
the remote city of Alma Ata, Kazakhstan– where he
was sent as a punishment for defying the Communist
regime (at the risk of his life) in order to bolster and
spread Torah and Yiddishkeit. He died of his
sufferings and was buried in Alma Ata; his wife (the
Rebbe’s mother) risked her own life to smuggle some
of his handwritten Torah-thoughts out of the country.

The 20th of Av is also significant for being forty days
before Rosh Hashanah – a fact which bears similar
conceptual meaning to the forty days that it takes for
the human fetus to form.

􀁸 Reb Levi Yitzchak performed his divine service of
disseminating Torah and Judaism with literal self-sacrifice. On
each anniversary of his passing, we should derive a lesson and
instruction to likewise disseminate Judaism, Torah-study and
Mitvah-performance. Moreover, we should even do so in a spirit
of self-sacrifice similar to that of Reb Levi Yitzchak.
􀁸 The main lesson and instruction concerns education: we
should educate our children while they are yet extremely young
to have self-sacrifice for Torah and Judaism. We accomplish this
by displaying such self-sacrifice in our conduct at home; seeing a
living example – who displays true enthusiasm – will have the
desired affect on our children.
􀁸 There is a lesson for each and every person in the name of
Reb Levi Yitzchak:
Levi alludes to an additional strength in the service between
ourselves and Hashem. This is reflected in the meaning given in
the Torah for the name Levi: “My Husband will attach Himself
(Yiloveh) to me.” (On a deeper level, the verse means that
Hashem will attach himself to the Jewish people.)
Yitzchak alludes to our divine service to positively affect our
surroundings. This is reflected in the meaning that the Torah
gives for the name Yitzchak: “All who hear will rejoice
[Yitzachak] for me.”

􀁸 [The soul of the deceased rises to ever-higher heavenly
realms on each anniversary of its departure from this world.]
Blessings and success caused by the lofty ‘elevations’ of Reb Levi Yitzchak’s soul will be drawn down upon those who
merited to study his teachings and to follow in his ways.11

􀁸 [Reb Levi Yitchak composed copious handwritten
documents and hundreds of pamphlets containing innovative
Torah teachings – most of which are somewhere in the former
USSR and have not yet reached our hands. Concerning these
writings, the Rebbe stated:]
It is certain that (eventually) the rest of his documents will also
be brought to light and we will thus merit an additional quantity
of innovative concepts from the inner dimension of Torah.
Simply by resolving to study these new teachings whenever they
reach our hands, we in fact hasten the time when we will be able
to overtly seek these writings (even) within the former USSR –
and to discover their whereabouts.

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