Written by Rabbi Gershon Avtzon
“Gimmel Tammuz” – these two words arouse strong emotions in every chassid. While the specific expression of those emotions may vary from Chassid to Chassid, the theme is the same: What can I do to strengthen my hiskashrus to the Rebbe and the shlichus that he gave us – for myself, my family, and my community? This is especially true when it comes to a “big anniversary” – 25 Years! – when the cry of “ad mosai?!” comes screaming out our hearts, and we demand from Hashem that he should finally reveal Moshiach to the entire world.
I would like to share something fascinating from the Hayom Yom about the day of Gimmel Tammuz, that I feel can be a tremendous lesson for our avodah today. Consider the following two facts:
1) In the introduction to the Hayom Yom, there is a brief biography of each Rebbe.
2) The Frierdike Rebbe was released from the infamous Spalerna prison on Gimmel Tammuz. Nevertheless, the biography in the Hayom Yom (page 19) states that the Frierdike Rebbe left prison on Daled Tammuz! Does Gimmel Tammuz not exist?
[In his “Luach Hatikkun – Editors Notes” to the Hayom Yom, the Rebbe actually wrote that, seemingly, it should have said “Gimmel Tammuz”. But he did not change the original printed text.]
It seems to me that one of the things which can be learned from this is the following simple lesson: Although reflecting on Gimmel Tammuz is so important, it is what we do differently on Daled Tammuz that is paramount.
The Rebbe wrote in the Hayom Yom for Gimmel Tammuz: “My revered grandfather, the Rebbe [Maharash], once said: ‘A Jewish groan which, G-d forbid, arises from physical misfortune, is also a great teshuva; how much more so then, is a groan arising from spiritual distress a lofty and effective teshuva. The groan pulls him out of the depths of evil and places him on a firm footing in the realm of good.'”
However, the same Rebbe also wrote in the Hayom Yom (for 23 Teves): “Sighing alone will not bring us salvation. Sighing is only a door knob that unlocks the heart and opens the eyes so that one will not sit idly by with folded arms. Instead, one should plan one’s efforts and take action, every individual according to his abilities, toward the goal of buttressing and disseminating the study of Torah and the observance of its mitzvos: one person through writing, another one through public speaking, and another with his financial resources.”
And, similarly, the Rebbe also wrote there (for 8 Adar 2): “My revered father, the Rebbe [Rashab], writes in one of his letters: ‘One action is better than a thousand sighs’. Our G-d is alive and the Torah and its mitzvos are eternal. Abandon sighing, apply yourself diligently to actual avodah, and G-d will be gracious to you.”
So while there may be room for a deep sigh on Gimmel Tammuz (as per the Hayom Yom entry for that day itself), it is clearly what we do on “Daled Tammuz”, especially our continual persistent avoda to get the world ready for Moshiach, that really counts. Lchaim!