“Gimmel” (the third of) Tammuz is a day destined for monumental events. Over 3,000 years ago. During Joshua’s battle in Gibeon he commanded the sun to stand still until the Jewish people were successful in the fight against their enemies.
In the Book of Joshua we read: “Then Joshua spoke to the L-rd… and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘Sun, stand still upon Gibeon; and moon, in the valley of Ayalon.’ And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies… So the sun stood still in the middle of the sky, and hastened not to go down a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the L-rd hearkened to the voice of a man; for the L-rd fought for Israel.”
The third of Tammuz is also the date, many years later, when the previous Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn) had his death sentence commuted and was released from imprisonment in Communist Russia to go into exile for three years, for his work in spreading the teachings of Judaism, in defiance of the authorities.
The Rebbe, quoting the Talmudic statement, “Auspicious things come to pass on an opportune day…,” explains that as Joshua’s command to the sun to stand still and the Previous Rebbe’s release from imprisonment took place on the same day, albeit years apart, there must be a connection between the two events.
Thus, it is certain that there must be a connection between the third of Tammuz in Joshua’s time and the third of Tammuz sixteen years ago, the day of the passing of the Rebbe.
On the third of Tammuz in Joshua’s time, the sun remained in its place until it had fulfilled its mission: to unceasingly illuminate the world until the Jewish people had achieved victory.
The Rebbe defined his mission as the seventh Chabad Rebbe, the leader of the seventh generation: “This is what is demanded of each of us in the seventh generation – because ‘All those who are the seventh are beloved’… Our divine mission is to complete the revelation of G-d’s presence into its most exalted aspect specifically into this lowly world.”
Simply stated, the mission of the Rebbe and of our generation is to bring about the actual revelation of Moshiach and the commencement of the Messianic Era.
It is far from coincidental that the Rebbe’s concealment from us occurred on the third of Tammuz. The Rebbe, like the sun, remains at his post, guiding us with his brilliant light, warming us with his wisdom, until we achieve victory in the final battle against the darkness of exile.