In 1977 the Rebbe shared a very long Maamar (a Chassidic discourse) titled “V’Shavti B’Shalom” based on the words of Jacob’s pledge/promise after his dream of the ladder in Parsha Vayeitzei. This was said not long after he suffered a major heart-attack about two months earlier on Shemini-Atzeret/Simchat Torah of 1977. Ten years later, in 1988, this lengthy Chassidic discourse, perhaps the longest single Maamar of the Rebbe, was edited for publication and published. That time of year was the annual Kinus conference of the Shluchim (Chabad rabbi emissaries of the Rebbe, doing the Rebbe’ work, fulfilling Rebbe’s vision), but that was the first year that it was an international conference. It was the Rebbe’s initiative that he personally distribute a copy of this Maamar to each and every Shliach present.

One more thing about a Maamar (a Chassidic discourse) which is different than a Sicha (most other talks of the Rebbe) when it comes to the Parsha (Torah portion of the week). A sicha, while a journey, sticks to the theme at hand, explores it in depth and via various angles and layers but sticks to the theme or verse in the Torah portion it is addressing. But most Maamorim are not like that. They almost always start off with a verse or a quote, as an opener, but use it only as a “paspsort” or launch-pad, and don’t usually address it throughout. But this Maamar VShavti BShalom is one of the exceptions to that rule, it keeps coming back to that verse and its details, and specifically that rock that Jacob designated in that pledge/promise he made after the ladder-dream.

It’s a super-long Maamar, much to share. But let’s focus on one aspect. A common misconception.

Many think that Chassidism is more of a spiritual thing, more of a mystical bent. And there’s truth to that, because many Chassidic texts draw on Kabbalah and speak of spiritual worlds and levels. Chassidus has so much emphasis on soul. That’s all true. But the point of this Maamar is to emphasize that as spiritual and as soulful as Chassidim and Chassidism may seek and strive, to Chabad, the ultimate purpose and mission is specifically to the physical world and not the spiritual one alone. The mission is here. Our goal is to discover and engage the spirituality hidden and latent within our world, not to escape this world and rise higher, not that at all. To fuse the spiritual and physical, but make it happen down here.

This Maamar (as do others) goes to great lengths, chapter after chapter, to drive this point home further and deeper, lower and lower.