The Tenth of Shvat marks the anniversary
of the passing of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn,
of blessed memory. Moreover, this date marks the day of the ascendancy
to leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita, Rabbi Menachem M.
Before his passing, the Previous Rebbe wrote a four-part series
of Chassidic discourses (a hemshech of maamarim) based on the verse
from Shir Hashirim, "I have come into My garden. My sister,
My bride. " Its first part, comprising five chapters, was released
in advance with the intention that it be studied on Yud Shvat, to
mark the anniversary of the passing of the author's saintly grandmother.
As it transpired, this was to be the date of his own passing.
Since "all the effort of man for which his soul toiled during
his life time-becomes revealed-at the time of his passing,"
it is clear that this series encapsulates the parting message of
the Previous Rebbe's life-work. Indeed, less than a year later the
Rebbe Shlita said: "I would like to suggest that we all commit
to memory the maamar entitled Basi Legani, in its entirety or in
part.... In times of confusion or of doubt,-we should think it through.
It is not the quantity that counts. What matters...is that we connect
ourselves to the source.... Mastering the maamar will nourish our
soul-connection (hiskashrus) with its author not only when we recite
it, but at other times too our minds will be suffused thereby with
the [Previous] Rebbe's teachings."
Year by year, it has been the custom of the Rebbe Shlita to expound
another chapter of the series in a discourse of his own.(The first
twenty such maamarim first appeared in 5737 in a Hebrew volume entitled
Sefer HaMaamarim Basi LeGani.) The first of the series, delivered
on the first anniversary of the passing of the Previous Rebbe, is
particularly noteworthy: it was the first maamar delivered by the
Rebbe Shlita after he had taken up the mantle of leadership.