Two hundred years ago, Chabad Chassidim were born. For seven illustrious generations we were held by the hand, guided, trained, and handed a mission. We soaked it all in, weathered the storms, and, always looking towards our faithful leader, we grew. We survived wars of bloodshed, and battles of the mind; isolated prisons, and life underground. We learned how to rise above every challenge, all the while, clinging to our Rebbe for instruction and strength to carry on with our mission.

Then it happened. On a rainy day in 1994. Shortly after being told that we were almost there – that our mission was about to be done. When our spirits were infused with a passion that marched throughout the globe. As we were gazing to our Rebbe, wide eyed, waiting for him to announce our victory.

Gimmel Tammuz.

No more rallies. No more free inspiration every week —be it a sicha, dollar, or new miracle story. No more being spoon fed with an answer to every life challenge. No more easy following. No.

Now to be a chossid, we need to work. We need to use our own strength.

We need to learn our stuff and put in effort to keep the inspiration going. We need to meditate on it and make sure that we really understand what chassidus is all about. We need to know how to put those tools to use. When we face challenges, we have to read through the things our Rebbeim taught us and search for the solutions. We’ve got to think. And when it’s hard, we’ve got to push through; out of our own choice. We’ve got to prove that we believe it all, and we’re doing it out of our own volition.

On Gimmel Tammuz, the Rebbe pushed us to the door, into the darkness, forcing us to take the lead and finally do what no one before us could.

We’ve been well trained, and left with instructions that fill libraries. The Rebbe is still rooting for us with love, and more than ever, giving us strength in every step. But the Rebbe can’t do it for us.

Only we, the people found in the darkest and most confusing of times, only we can do it. Only we can show that even from the darkest shadows, we still want God. That even when we barely remember what He is, we’ll still find our little bit of strength, and use it to bring Him home.

Here we are. Seven generations down the line. Handed a mission at its very final step. We’re inches away from the finish line. Only we can complete it.

But do we really want it? Even with no leader holding the flame in front of our eyes, will we work until we reach it?

Will we finally bring God into the deepest corners of this world?