On Yud Shevat, 5710 (1950), the Previous Rebbe passed away. Now, it is clear that in many respects, the Rebbe assumed the role of the Previous Rebbe’s successor immediately upon the Previous Rebbe’s passing. As the verse says, “The sun sets and the sun rises” (Koheles 1:5), which our sages interpret (ibid, Koheles Rabbah) to mean that there is no gap between the leaders of the Jewish people. The same principle applies to Rebbeim (cf. Hisva’aduyos 5742, Vol. 2, p. 1089; Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 12, p. 147).
However, after many months of the chassidim urging the Rebbe to become Rebbe, on the following year, at the farbrengen marking the anniversary of Yud Shevat, the Rebbe delivered a maamar for the first time, and in so doing, the Rebbe accepted the mantle of leadership officially.
Since today, Yud Shevat, is the anniversary of that day, let us consider the way that the Rebbe officially became Rebbe. The main thing that the Rebbe did to become Rebbe was deliver a maamar. Why does delivering a maamar make one a Rebbe?
To answer that question, let us ask: What is a maamar? A maamar is not just an explanation of Chassidus. During the delivery of a maamar, a Rebbe enters a state of deveikus (“intense bonding”) with G-dliness to the extent that G-dliness is revealed in him and to the world to the most pure, intense degree possible before Moshiach comes. Put differently, although at any time Hashem reveals Himself through the Tzaddik (see here), still, this reaches its highest point during the delivery of a maamar, about which Reb Hillel Paritcher said that a Rebbe then reaches the level of “The Shechinah speaks through the throat of Moshe” (Zohar 3:232a, Sefer HaSichos 5697, p. 165).
Reb Hillel Paritcher also expressed this by saying that when a Rebbe delivers a maamar, it is like the Giving of the Torah (see Hisva’aduyos 5748, Vol. 1, p. 35).
Thus, among many other things, this day represents the time when chassidim had their desire to experience the intense divine revelation of hearing Chassidus satisfied. May e experience that revelation again in the very near future, and hear the first post-Moshiach maamar, which will surely be far beyond anything we have yet experienced, but for which all of our strivings should be geared to preparing us.
And to borrow the phrase with which the Rebbe concluded that first maamar (see here): “May we merit to see and be together with the [Previous] Rebbe, down here in a physical body and within our reach, and he will redeem us.”