Many people are asking me now, "What did you do for Gimmel Tammuz?".
They want to know.
This is usually preceded (or directly followed) by something to the effect of "I just got back from the Ohel, gosh the lines were long and I am exhausted. I am on the way now to a farbrengen (had one last night too) and I went to an excellent shiur this morning. So, what did you say you did?"
I don't think they intend to brag or compare, I think they just want to know.
And I answer-"Me? I davened with 4 Jewish kids this morning. Then I took them to the park. Then we went to an old age home and we sang for some elderly Jewish women. I also washed these children's hands and faces and gave them fresh chocolate cake. Then we played a game and colored on plastic papers. Oh! You mean what did I do specifically in honor of the day? Well, I made sure to say all 12 Pesukim with the kids. I tried to get Daniel to daven. I explained to a 3 yr old and a 4 yr old what it means to write a letter to the Rebbe, and then they wrote it. I prompted Leibel to shout 'we want moshiach now' and I clapped along encouragingly when he sang/demanded "ad mosai, do we have to wait, we want moshiach now, we don't want to wait.'
And then they say-"Oh, that's nice."
And they really think so, but they don't know what that has to do with their original question-what did I do for Gimmel Tammuz?
And I say (as if I hadn't been interrupted)- "And I wore my nice gold shoes in the sand. And I chatted with people I wanted to run away from. And I held the baby even though I didn't want to. And I started learning a maamer. And I said 'oh, it's my pleasure' when it wasn't (and then I spoke to myself till it really was my pleasure).
And then they say- "Oh, that's nice. That's really beautiful."
And again, they really think so, but again they don't know what that has to do with Gimmel Tammuz. (except maybe the maamer part)
And I say- "Wait, I'm not finished. I also chopped cucumbers, stirred green beans, and set out cold cuts and rolls for a bris."
And they say-"Oh, that's nice. But what does that have to do with Gimmel Tammuz?"
And I didn't say they were smug or smirking or provoking. They just want to know.
They want to know? So I tell them.
I tell them 'For me, every day is Gimmel Tammuz."
"Every day, the Rebbe is not with us physically. Every day it's unfair and hard that the Rebbe is not here. Every day in golus is painful. The Rebbe wasn't taken away from me in Nun Daled. The Rebbe is taken away from me each and every day. And 'whichever day does not see the Rebbe, it is as if that day took him away'. It's day after day, month after month, yom tov after yom tov, year after year.
Every day is Gimmel Tammuz for me.
And every day the Rebbe is with me more and more.
My Rebbe wasn't ever taken away from me cuz I (barely) had a Rebbe before then. It wasn't 'here and then gone'. It's the same forever.
And since a neshama can do way more when it is not in a guf, I'm with the Rebbe more than you ever were.
The Rebbe guides my every day; the Rebbe tells me what to wear, what to learn, what to say and what to think.
For me, "Gimmel Tammuz didn't change a thing".
The Rebbe wants me to hold the backpack of a 4 yr old Yiddishe kinde, today like yesterday and tomorrow.
Every day is Gimmel Tammuz for me."
"Ahh", they answer, "But Gimmel Tammuz is not just a random mark of time. It's a spiritual mark of time. It's a yarhtzeit. An auspicious time when the neshama has an aliyah.."
And I burst out - "Aliyas Neshama? Vus fahr a aliyas neshama? The Rebbe has been standing outside of Gan Eden for thirteen years, yes thirteen years now, stubbornly refusing to enter until we are all taken out of golus!"
So what did I do this Gimmel Tammuz?
I tried getting the Rebbe a little closer to his goal.