a Call to Action

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המעשה הוא העיקר

 “HaMaaseh Hu HaIkar”

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5768 Ÿ 2007

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We are pleased to bring you this newly revised edition of a Call to Action.  Translated from its Hebrew counterpart, HaMaaseh Hu HaIkar, this presentation is a collection of practical instruction from the Rebbe’s Sichos pertaining to the Chassidisher month of Kislev.

HaMaaseh Hu HaIkar is a compilation of Hora’os (“directives”) culled from the Rebbe’s talks in the years 5748 to 5752 (1988-1992), from both edited and unedited sources (“Muga” and “Bilti Muga”); we have expended great effort in our attempt to capture some of the Rebbe’s carefully calculated and instructive phrasing. This edition’s English translation was provided by Rabbi Yaakov Paley.

At this time, when Moshiach’s arrival is imminent, the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, has emphasized the primacy of action.  We are now beginning to experience the era when we will fully appreciate “the superiority of deed” above scholarship. May this take place completely and immediately!


Editorial Office of

HaMaaseh Hu HaIkar

Shabbos Mevarchim Kislev, 5768

9th and 10th of Kislev

Anniversary of the Mittler Rebbe’s Birth,

Passing and Festival of Liberation[1]

A Brief History

The Mittler Rebbe (second Lubavitcher Rebbe) was born on the 9th of Kislev 5534 (1773).  His birth was the result of an explicit blessing given by the Maggid of Mezritch to his father, the Alter Rebbe.   The Maggid had passed away in the interim, and in keeping with his instruction, the Mittler Rebbe was given his name, “Dov Ber.”

The Mittler Rebbe was slandered to the Czar and imprisoned in the year 5587 (1826).  He was liberated on the 10th of Kislev and the day was established as time of great significance and celebration for Chassidism.

Almost a year later (on the 9th of Kislev, 5588 (1827)), the Mittler Rebbe passed away in an extraordinary and holy manner and while in the course of delivering a Chassidic discourse. Concerning his passing, the Tzemach Tzedek declared:  Never since the days of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai [author of the Zohar] has anyone been taken from this world in such a manner and while teaching Torah.

Time for Moshiach

·           We should utilize this most propitious and favorable occasion by increasing our efforts to further advance and speed the coming of the true and complete Redemption.[2]

Torah, Mitvzos and Hafatzah

·           We should connect this festival of liberation with an (incomparable) increase in our Torah study and Mitzvah performance, and specifically, in our dissemination of Torah, Judaism and Chassidus.[3]

Study the Mittler Rebbe’s teachings

·           On the anniversary of the Mittler Rebbe’s birth and passing, we should increase our study of his teachings.  Moreover, we should do so in a broad manner, in keeping with the expansiveness that is synonymous with the Mittler Rebbe and his teachings.[4]  All who increase in this study are praiseworthy![5]

Woman and girls – study and teach Chassidus

·            This matter is applicable to each and every Jewish person, man and woman alike.  The study and dissemination of Chassidus is clearly relevant to Jewish women and girls as well; in fact, it is extremely important that they engage in these matters – for doing so will bring Moshiach.[6]

Study Pada VeShalom from its text

·            We may have previously studied the Mittler Rebbe’s Chassidic discourse “Pada VeShalom”; nevertheless, we should now study it again from its text – for the mere sight of its words makes the topic more comprehensible.[7]

Torah, Avodah and Gemilas Chassadim

We should now resolve to increase and bolster all three basic modes of divine service: Torah study, prayer and acts of kindness.[8]  This is in keeping with our Sages’ teaching on the verse “Pada VeShalom” (the title of the Mittler Rebbe’s discourse), that “All who occupy themselves with Torah study, acts of kindness and who pray with the congregation – I [Hashem] reckon it as if they have redeemed Myself and My sons [the Jewish people] from Exile.”8

Congregational prayers

·            In keeping with the above teaching, we should place great emphasis on praying with a congregation. Moreover, the larger the congregation, the better – in fulfillment of the verse, “The glory of a King is in a multitude of subjects.”[9]

Pray till you Shvitz

·            We should place extra emphasis on the service of prayer, and – following the Mittler Rebbe’s example – exert such effort into this service that we physically drip with sweat.[10]

Physical affairs with Chassidic warmth

·            Each of us should take a lesson from the Mittler Rebbe,[11] and place extra effort into making the warmth and vitality that stems from our Yiddishkeit and Chassidishkeit felt even within our material preoccupations – to the extent that our spiritual and physical affairs merge to form a single entity.[12]

Use every moment

·            We should carry out all of the above directives with great alacrity and swiftness, in keeping with the Mishnah’s teaching, “Run to do a Mitzvah!”  We should snatch the opportunities presented by each and every moment of this auspicious day to implement these directives.[13]


·            On this festival of liberation, we should arrange a Farbrengen in each and every location, where we will study and discuss the Mittler Rebbe’s teachings and make firm resolutions regarding all of the abovementioned activities[15].

Get ready for the Yud Tes Kislev Farbrengen

·            During these Farbrengens we should plan for the upcoming Grand Farbrengens that will be held on the 19th of Kislev, the Alter Rebbe’s festival of liberation.[16]

Plan Yud Tes Kislev events everywhere

·            We should lay plans for these Farbrengens in each and every location – even the furthest far-flung spot on the globe.  We should ensure that in every nook on this physical planet where Jews may be found, that that location will be permeated with the Chassidic light and warmth of Yud Tes Kislev, the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus.”16

Daily farbrengens

·            We should continue to hold Farbrengens during the coming days, and increase them from one day to the next:  On the 11th (which is like the semi-festive post-holiday, “Isru Chag”[17]), the 12th, 13th, 14th, [18] 15th (mid-month means a full moon, which represents the full power of the month’s divine service), 16th, 17th and 18th of Kislev.  Moreover, all of these dates are merely preparatory days for Yud Tes Kislev…[19]

15th of Kislev

·            The 15th of Kislev represents the completed state of the entire month’s divine service.  We should therefore (for a start) add a state of perfection to our Torah study, and in particular to our study of Chassidus; as well as to our service of prayer and our performance of Mitzvos (which predominantly includes Tzedakah and acts of kindness, for they represent all of the Mitzvos).[20]


לכ"ק אדמו"ר מלך המשיח


יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד

[1].       In full swing

Due to the passing of the Mittler Rebbe, the Chassidim did not celebrate his liberation with full fiery enthusiasm on its first anniversary, as is known.  In later years though, the celebration of his liberation (which took place on the 10th of Kislev) is celebrated with great enthusiasm – particularly since it occurs on the day following the 9th of Kislev, the anniversary of his birth and passing.  (Parshas Vayeitzei 5752, footnote 147; Hisva’aduyos p.353)

[2].       9th – 10th Kislev 5750; Hisva’aduyos p.443.

[3].       Personal liberation

The examples set by the “Fathers of Chassidism” (the Rebbes) constitute indications for their “descendants” (their followers), and [in the case of the Mittler Rebbe’s liberation,] every Jewish person receives the ability to experience a “liberation” in all of their affairs … so that they are freed from all constraints, enabling them to rise from strength to yet greater strength and even to an incomparable degree; so that [in retrospect,] their former divine service now resembles an ‘imprisoned’ and limited form of service [by comparison to their current standing].  (Parshas Vayeitzei 5750; Hisva’aduyos p.454)

[4].       Parshas Vayeitzei 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355.

Serve G-d with your intellect

Although the primary mode of “intellectual divine service” (“Avodas HaMochin B’etzem”) will be performed in the future times of Redemption, we should nevertheless prepare for the Redemption by performing this mode of service nowadays.  We can aid this service by studying the teachings that explain the service of the mind in its own right (as opposed to a service with the intellect that perfects the emotions).  This topic is expounded at great length in the teachings of Chassidus in general, and specifically in the Chassidic teachings of the Mittler Rebbe.  For in his teachings, these topics are explained in the broadest manner, ‘with the expansiveness of a broad river’ [as the Mittler Rebbe's teachings are referred to in Chassidic terminology.]

          … In addition to studying the above topics, we should strive, to the best of our ability, to bring these concepts into actuality – i.e., in “intellect divine service.”

… This is clearly the reason why many Chassidic discourses and particularly from the Mittler Rebbe (who represents expansiveness) - many of which have only recently been published – pointedly address profound topics from the inner dimension of the Torah that address the divine service of the intellect

          Study properly – get rich

… We should also increase (as much as possible) in assuring that our study is accompanied by physical expansiveness.  And when we do whatever we possibly can to provide such expansiveness, Hashem will bless us with success to the extent that our faintest efforts (like lifting the proverbial “solitary finger”) will merit expansiveness in our physical livelihoods – and as a natural result, expansiveness of our intellectual capabilities and certainly our divine service that involves our emotions.  (9th of MarCheshvan 5752; Sichos Kodesh p.270-272)

[5].       Hilchos Chag HaGeulah

Why, even Halachah attributes a law of preference to matters of current concern – for example, we are told to study the laws of Sukkos during the actual festival of Sukkos.  In the same way, we should study the “laws,” i.e., relevant topics of the Festival of Liberation during the festival itself.

          Go ahead and do it

… Practically speaking and to state the obvious – after our entire lengthy discussion on this matter:  We should literally take a book (or borrow one if need be) and actually study one of the Chassidic discourses.  “All who increase are praiseworthy!”  (10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.579-580)

[6].       Parshas Vayeitzei 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355.

[7].       The Mittler Rebbe’s personal concern

The discourse entitled Pada VeShalom (from the Mittler Rebbe’s work, Sha’arei Teshuvah Vol.1 (Sha’ar HaTefilah) p.49b and onward) was originally printed and publicized within the Mittler Rebbe’s lifetime.  We should make sure to study it.  (Parshas Vayeitzei 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.407)

          We should study the Mittler Rebbe’s teachings, and particularly those discourses that are connected with his liberation (such as the discourse Pada VeShalom) – all the more so in light of the Mittler Rebbe having personally prepared these discourses for printing, and personally issued the instruction to have them printed.  (10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.580)

[8].       10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.579.

          Add on your own

Each and every person will no doubt add a broad and expanded addition [to what has been required] on his own initiative.  We should reflect the theme of Mittler Rebbe – expansiveness; all matters should be done with expansiveness.  (9th of Kislev 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.395)

[9].       The ideal Minyan – between 10 and 600,000

It is written, “And I will be sanctified amongst the Children of Israel,” which teaches us that “every holy matter should be done in the presence of ten Jews.”  Nevertheless, praying with a group that consists of more than ten Jews is yet loftier than praying with exactly ten Jews.  Indeed, the highest form of congregational prayer is accomplished with six hundred thousand Jews…  (10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.581.  See there at length.)

[10].     Shvitzy Shtreimel

The Previous Rebbe recounted that when the Mittler Rebbe would pray he would not sway or budge at all.  Yet at the same time, from the great intensity of his prayers, sweat would be dripping off the end of his Shtreimel (furry hat)!  We should take a lesson from the Mittler Rebbe, concerning the extent that we should engage in the service of prayer.  (10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.582.)

[11].     Refined physicality

The complete state of the Mittler Rebbe’s service in Chassidus was expressed even in his physical body and surroundings – even his lifespan was perfectly complete, down to the exact amount of days (both his birth and passing occurred on the 9th of Kislev).  In the same way, each of us should place extra effort into expressing our spirituality and Chassidic qualities within our corporeality, our physical affairs and within our earthly “time and space”…

[12].     Waiting to be revealed

Since the unification between body and soul, between physicality and spirituality, has already been achieved to the most perfect degree, and everything is already prepared for the Redemption, we need to engage in activities that will cause this [unification] to be revealed in actuality.  (9th of Kislev 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355.  See there at length for further examples of the unification between physicality and spirituality that was accomplished by the Mittler Rebbe.)

[13].     Don’t delay

The main thing is the deed:  We should utilize this propitious day, the day of the Mittler Rebbe’s liberation … to increase all good and holy matters … and we should specifically resolve to continually increase our study of the Mittler Rebbe’s teachings.

          Needless to say, we should hurry!

          Don’t be clever

… The way of the “clever fellow” (the evil inclination) is to present the following claim:  What is the great importance of utilizing this day in the service of Hashem?!  Does the Torah not state, “His [mankind’s] years shall be one hundred and twenty”?  During the many coming years, you will yet have a chance to occupy yourself with matters that concern the 10th of Kislev.   In fact, during the coming years you will be able to fulfill anything that was lacking in the previous years, to the fullest extent…  (10th of Kislev 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.572.  See there at length.)

[14].     Open discussions

We should further increase in holding Chassidisher Farbrengens amidst joy and gladness of heart, in which we discuss concepts from the inner dimension of Torah.  The main thing is for these discussions to be fully comprehensible – the broadest comprehension that comes from thorough discussions between friends.  (9th of MarCheshvan 5752; Sichos Kodesh p.276).

[15].     Parshas Vayeitzei 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355.

Use the last moment before Geulah for a real Farbrengen

We expected that the Farbrengen (which should rightfully have been held on Motzei Shabbos) would have been attended by all Chassidim, both men and women, and accomplished with far greater strength, intensity and expansiveness.

After all, [we are so very close to Geulah;] all the auspicious dates for Moshiach’s arrival has already long passed, and the many excuses for his delay have long been exhausted and so forth.  And now … there is no longer even a moment to wait; there is not even [the fraction of time required for the proverbial] “blink of an eye” before [the arrival of] the true and complete Redemption in the most literal sense.

Despite all this, the Chassidim remain “cold-blooded” [and unmoved by the magnitude of the present time.  Further, this is not the only thing about which they remain impassive – rather] to our great sorry, they are “cold-blooded” when it comes to other matter as well; who can tell where this sorry state will take us?!

However, one thing is clear:  We are not to take this “cold-bloodedness” into account, but should instead work with the inner essence and purpose – especially since we are connected to and influenced by [the Mittler Rebbe’s] “expansiveness,” and should accomplish with ever-increasing expansiveness.

We will therefore utilize this opportunity to once again promote these activities…  (11th of Kislev 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.414)

[16].     Parshas Vayeitzei 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355.

[17].     11th of Kislev 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.414.

[18].     Striving for perfection

The 14th of Kislev is connected with marriage [the Rebbe was married on the 14th of Kislev], and with the full moon [which represents perfection of the month’s divine service as well as the full power of the Jewish people who are likened to the moon].  (Parshas Vayishlach 5751; Hisva’aduyos p.388.)

Ever greater perfection

          A Jew does not simply make do with having completed the service required of the 14th day of the month – rather, he knows that this state of completeness is merely preparation for an ever-greater state of completeness.

[19].     From day to day

… Beginning with today’s Farbrengen (the 10th of Kislev), which we continue throughout the day (each location and group according to their particular conditions).  Following that, we continue with a Farbrengen on Motzei Shabbos after Havdalah (during the Melave Malka meal of David, King Moshiach).  We then farbreng again on Sunday (11th of Kislev) and similarly during the following days…

On this Shabbos, we bless the coming week, which includes the 14th of Kislev.  Further, we have the days between now and the 19th of Kislev to prepare:

Ÿ Monday the 12th of Kislev;

Ÿ Tuesday the 13th of Kislev, the third day of the week [which corresponds to the third day of Creation, about which it is repeated in the Chumash that Hashem saw] “it was good”;

Ÿ Wednesday the 14th of Kislev;

Ÿ There is certainly reason to farbreng on Thursday the 15th of Kislev – for a full moon represents a complete state of the month’s divine service and also a complete state of the Jewish people (who reckon their calendar by, and are compared to, the moon);

Ÿ Friday the 16th of Kislev, which is when we prepare for Shabbos – the day from which [all the days of the coming week, including] the 19th of Kislev, Yud Tes Kislev, is blessed.  [“Regarding Friday, it also contains this extra quality of ‘good’ having been mentioned twice [in Bereishis], similar to Tuesday” – footnote 410];

Ÿ There is all the more reason to farbreng on Shabbos, the 17th of Kislev (17 being the numerical value of “Tov,” “good”);

Ÿ Sunday the 18th of Kislev (18 spells the word “Chai,” “life”);

Ÿ The very greatest Farbrengen of all takes place on Yud Tes Kislev itself, the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus!”  (10th of Kislev 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.404)

          … The activities of the month of Kislev, the “Chassidisher Month” … regarding the arrangement of Farbrengens … and likewise the continuation on Motzei Shabbos (at the Melave Malka, the “meal of David, King Moshiach”), and so on until the Farbrengen of Yud Tes Kislev – that comes on the heels of fitting preparations – great preparation.  (Parshas Vayishlach 5748; Hisva’aduyos p.445-446)

          We should continue the Farbrengens throughout Kislev, and particularly on the days which are associated with the teachings and customs of Chassidus.  (Parshas Vayeitzei, the 9th of Kislev 5752; Hisva’aduyos p.355)

[20].     Influence the past and future

The 15th of Kislev represents a state of completeness in the entire month of Kislev… We need to increase and make up for all aspects of our divine service from the previous days, particularly the 10th of Kislev.  For despite having already accomplished a significant amount, each person knows just how much more he could personally add.  As we have explained, a Jew is intrinsically unlimited, and it is within his power and capacity to continuously produce further and further incomparable increases.  We certainly have the ability to add to or complete our past service.

As for preparations for our future service (which includes the Festival of Liberation, Yud Tes Kislev – which the Previous Rebbe called the “Festival of All Festivals”) these matters certainly need to be done in the most complete and perfect manner.

Perfect the cosmos

By fulfilling these directives, there will be completeness in all “three pillars upon which the world stands” – through our Torah, prayer and acts of kindness.  This brings completeness to mankind (each of whom is a microcosm of the world at large), as well as the literal world itself, of course.  Ultimately, we influence the entire Seder Hishtalshelus [all of Creation, both spiritual and physical realms].  (Night following the 15th of Kislev 5749; Hisva’aduyos p.426-427)