Why I Don’t “Commemorate” Chof Ches Nissan

“You asked about my hesitation in creating a ‘Chof Ches Nissan Event’…” Rabbi Mendel Itzinger writes to a bochur why commemorating “The Day” might make someone lose the point, and what he suggests to mark the day.

By Rabbi Mendel Itzinger – Head of Igud Yeshivos Lubavitch

You asked about my hesitation in creating a “Chof Ches Nissan Event”.

Here is why:

To me, the tumult of commemorating the ‘Date’ of the “Surprise Sicha”, sometimes [often?] distorts what the Rebbe told us then.

I’ll explain:

Following Gimmel Tamuz we faced a question:

Does Dor Hashvi’I continue after the Rebbe’s Histalkus?

Let us look at the facts:

Generally, a generation is a set amount of time.

In Torah, a generation is more often defined by its Nossi.

But, whilst a new Nossi is the sign of generational change, it is not the cause.

Look at it this way, why is there ever the need for a “new” Nossi?

That is because; each generation has a specific goal. Once its goal has been achieved, the next generation are tasked with taking it to the next level.

It is the new Nossi who guides the ‘new generation’ in what the next level is, and gives them the physical and spiritual energy they need to achieve it.

That is why, whilst the clearest way of defining the beginning of the ‘next step’, is by a new Nossi’s ascension to leadership. But the new Nossi only became Nossi because a new mission began. 

In that vain, a more accurate definition of a ‘generation’ is its particular goal.

In short: A generation is defined by its goal. 

The generation continues until the goal has been achieved.

Chof Ches Nissan 5751 was one of the times the Rebbe spoke to us about what was to come.

It wasn’t the only time, but it was one of the clearest times.

And in that Sicha the Rebbe clarified: The goal of Dor Hashvi’i is literal redemption. 

Dor Hashvi’i is not ‘another step’ in achieving the ultimate goal, it is the final step.

And that step is in the purview, and the responsibility of ‘simple Jews’

That Sicha provided us with the clarity that despite what was often the sign of a new phase in דירה בתחתונים – this time it is different.

Because, Dor Hashvi’i is the final phase. Because, all that is needed is further ‘action’. 

That action – the Rebbe told us that day – is the responsibility of every Jew. The ‘Rebbishe’ matters are all done. 

So, you ask me why I do not want to commemorate “The Day”? 

Because, for me at least, commemorating “The Day” sometimes can make me lose the point. 

Most people do not know the exact day the Rebbe launched מבצע תפילין nor מבצע מזוזה — they do not know that because what is really important is the ‘Action’.

I get it, the dates are details in ימי חב”ד, and they are important too. But often, overemphasising the ‘launch details’, changes ‘The Mission’ into ‘An Event’.

Calling it “Chof Ches Nissan”, inspires us for the day… but it is the change in thinking that is the important part. The date of the Sicha is as important as the date the Rebbe launched Mivtza Ahavas Yisroel. 

Imagine you didn’t know what day the Rebbe spoke about carrying the responsibility after His Histalkus… How else would you commemorate the point if not by proper action…

Try it, not for the day, but for the next two weeks. 

Spend a few minutes each day considering the responsibility. Consider it in the context we discussed here. Try making it yours…

1.     Focus on the overall responsibility, in addition to the specific. 

2.     When you do a Mitzva realise it carries enormous weight. 

3.     Do something extra – just for the sake of moving things quicker. 

4.     Ask your Mashpia what is the most important area that needs improvement. 

5.     Spend some time understanding what the world will be like when Moshiach will come, it will help motivate action. 

6.     Try impressing the reality that the responsibility is on us, on one other individual. Help them realise what they can accomplish for all of humanity by doing a Mitzva.  

See what happens when you focus on the words that have been ringing in my ears all day… the words that don’t allow me a good night sleep… the words that give us the real barometer of success… the command on which rests the work and Mesirus Nefesh of the Rabbeim

 טוט אלץ וואס איר קענט און זעט אראפבריינגען משיח’ן

Those words would ring all day, every day. 

What a responsibility to carry!

Let’s do another Mitzva, learn another Ma’amor, understand another Nekuda. 

Let’s get it done!

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    1. here it is not quite a yoma dpagra its a sicha which the rebbe said many times (example: the first sicha after the maamar bosi legani) and on chof ches sivan the rebbe said in much stronger oisiyos. we recieved a challenge not a “special day”

      1. If the Rebbe gave a Chossid a challenge for life in their first Yechidus, they are not allowed to commemorate that important date?

        1. The concern is, that some might substitute the challenge for the date.

          It goes without saying if one does not lose sight of the challenge all year, there is nothing wrong with ALSO marking marks the date.

    2. You miss the point!
      The entire point is that Chof Ches Nissan is NOT a Yoma D’pagra, just as the day the Rebbe launched the Mivtzoim never became days to celebrate!

  1. I dunno about that.
    It’s a nice point, but the rebbe always commemorated days. In fact, one of the big deals about commemorating a day, is to stretch its impact throughout the year.
    How many times did the rebbe say in a sicha that it’s not about the day rather a reminder.
    A day’s whole point is to remind us so we don’t just move on like nothing happened.

  2. I too dunno!
    As mentioned earlier the Rebbe did not celebrate the day he launched Mivtza Tefillin, Mivtza Mezuza etc. etc.

    In other words some days are to me marked, but some Mivtzoim are to be marked but not it’s dates!

  3. Yes we don’t speak about commemorating the beginning of mivtza tefillin because almost every bochur goes on every Friday and Erev Yom Tov on his tefillin route. It is part and parcel of being a Lubavitcher
    However, what exactly are we supposed to do after this sicha, is not so clear. Some Lubavitchers say this and some say that. Boruch Hashem we are now hearing an unified message from the tut altz campaign.
    So by not commemorating it, it is either as the author states or it is because some want to “erase” it and the proof is that for many years many didn’t want to discuss it.
    So farbrenging today is a statement and not farbrenging is also a statement

    1. “However, what exactly are we supposed to do after this sicha, is not so clear.”

      The Rebbe clarified on the following Shabbos EXACTLY what we are supposed to do.

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