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The 10th day of the Jewish month of Shevat (“Yud Shevat” in Hebrew) is a most significant date on the Chabad calendar. It is the yahrtzeit of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), of righteous memory. It is also the day when, in 1951, the seventh Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), of righteous memory, formally accepted the leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch with a historic maamar (chassidic discourse) and address at a gathering marking the first anniversary of his predecessor’s passing.
To mark the occasion, a “Farbrengen” – a Chassidic gathering, took place in Rome with the partecipation of Rabbi Itzchak Hazan, director of Chabad Rome, Rabbi Bekerman from Yerushalyim and many others.
Rabbi Hazan spoke about his memories with the Rebbe, one in particular of the 10th of Shvat when the Rebbe concluded a Torah scroll in honor of the coming of the Moshiach.
Rabbi Bekerman, not a Chabad chossid, recounted how he asked the Rebbe about learning in a Chabad Yeshiva but the Rebbe told him to remain where he was, he later went on to build a large educational institute with 2000 students and he accredits the Rebbe for having the foresight so that he was able to accomplish what he did by not joining Chabad.
Rabbi Lazar retold stories chronicling the amazing life of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, whose battle for the physical and spiritual life of the Jewish people pitted him against the Czarist regime, Stalin’s henchmen, the Nazi Holocaust, and the spiritual apathy of the “New World” and our generations Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, who built upon the foundations laid by his predecessor and made “Chabad Lubavitch” the force for Jewish renaissance it is today.
Concluding with a synopsis of the maamar (chassidic discourse) that the Rebbe taught on the same day in 1951.