September 27, 2016
Beis Moshiach in #1040, Chabad History, Rosh HaShana

It was Friday and the second day of Rosh HaShana 5745/1984

On this day, like the day before, the davening took place with great elevation of spirit in the Rebbe’s presence. This day is one of the only days of the year on which the Rebbe says all the kaddeishim following the davening. He does this l’ilui nishmas his sister-in-law, Rebbetzin Sheina, may Hashem avenge her blood, who perished in the Holocaust.

Preparations for the shofar blowing took a relatively long time. The Rebbe spread out all the handkerchiefs on the bima, passed between his hands a red handkerchief and a white handkerchief, and finally wrapped the shofars again in the handkerchiefs, tightening the wrapping several times strongly. Nobody can quite fully follow this holy avoda, which apparently contains hidden lofty secrets, matters exclusive to the realm and role of Rebbe. The shofar blowing of the first thirty blows was conducted by the Rebbe.

In the afternoon they davened Mincha in the small zal at around 5:45. Since it would soon be Shabbos, the congregation did not recite Avinu Malkeinu, but by way of “compensation,” the Rebbe motioned to sing the Alter Rebbe’s niggun of Avinu Malkeinu before the davening.

A few minutes after the end of the davening, the Rebbe went down to farbreng. He washed his hands for the meal (with the gabbai first announcing that this time they would not be continuing into Shabbos and therefore, it would be possible to say l’chaim only until sunset).

In the first sicha, the Rebbe mentioned the established custom on Rosh HaShana, to sing the niggunim of all the leaders of Chassidus and the Chabad leaders, which arouses their great merit. The Rebbe began mentioning the names of the Rebbeim, one by one.

The Rebbe explained that a niggun is the “quill of the soul,” and therefore, they should sing wordless tunes representing the “inner voice that is not heard,” which is a loftier voice and is connected with Rosh HaShana, the day on which everything is drawn down into the inner aspect of the worlds.

The Rebbe said a blessing that all matters should come to fruition very soon and parenthetically explained at length the concept of “mamash” which includes two explanations: 1) part of the essence, literally like it, and 2) tangible, so that one can touch it. He explained that in the Future, there would be the literal revelation of the essence.

Then the crowd began singing the Three Tenuos of the Baal Shem Tov, the Rav HaMaggid, and the Alter Rebbe. Then, deviating from the norm, they sang the niggun d’veikus for the t’fillos of Rosh HaShana of the Alter Rebbe, the Niggun Kappelia of the Mitteler Rebbe, the niggun of the Tzemach Tzedek, the niggun L’chat’chilla Aribber of the Rebbe Maharash, the Niggun Hachana of the Rebbe Rashab, and the Niggun HaBeinoni of the Rebbe Rayatz. They concluded with Shamil which the Rebbe himself had taught.

Right after the niggunim, which were sung with great d’veikus by the large crowd, locals and guests, something happened the likes of which never happened before. The Rebbe said, “My master and father-in-law, the Rebbe, explained that the reason for saying a maamer on the second day of Rosh HaShana, at the end of the day, is to draw down into all the days of the year the P’nimius HaTorah. But at this point in time, we need to add a drawing down of the Nigleh of Torah and in this itself there are a number of ways. The highest way is for it to be “from the mouth of babes and sucklings” – a breath of air that contains no sin. So now the tinokos shel beis rabban (children) will say verses associated with Rosh HaShana (from the kiddush) and the parsha of the week.”

As the crowd listened, somewhat surprised, their surprise grew greater when the Rebbe turned to his right and called one of the boys who was standing there (many children would sit around the Rebbe’s chair during farbrengens). The boy went over to the Rebbe who asked him whether he was still before his bar mitzva. When the boy said yes, the Rebbe opened his personal siddur and pointed at a verse and the boy began reading loudly, “Tik’u ba’chodesh etc. LeiLokei Yaakov.” As is done with the Twelve P’sukim, the boy read it word by word and the congregation repeated it after him with great excitement. The childish voice of the reader was heard in the large beis midrash as thousands followed his reading.

When he finished, the Rebbe turned to his left and called over a boy who was sitting there and this time, he opened his siddur to Parshas Haazinu. The boy began to read from the beginning of the parsha and the huge crowd repeated after him: Haazinu … Haazinu … ha’shamayim … ha’shamayim …

Then the Rebbe called upon a third child and had him read from his siddur: B’Reishis bara Elokim…

Even before the recital of the verses, the Rebbe’s face was exceedingly grave and it turned more so as the verses were read. Chassidim sensed that something lofty was afoot. But immediately upon finishing the verses, the Rebbe smiled broadly, albeit briefly, as though a heavy weight had been removed from his shoulders. Who knows, perhaps a negative decree had been removed at that moment by the recital of the verses by those children.

Then the Rebbe said: Regarding Hashem it says, “I am G-d, I have not changed,” but human nature is such that people are inspired by something new. Yehi ratzon – that the chiddush and inspiration should have an effect throughout the year which should be permeated with Torah study.

The Rebbe then said to sing the Niggun Hachana before the maamer and then he said the maamer, “Tik’u BaChodesh Shofar, BaKeseh L’Yom Chageinu.

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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