Maamar V'Kibel Hayehudim - Chapter 3
The year 5542 (1782) was the third consecutive year that Chabad chassidim suffered grievously at the hands of their opponents.
Their suffering was extremely painful and most difficult to bear. That Purim the Alter Rebbe of blessed memory said, "We will have to endure even more," referring to the bitter excision proclaimed that summer, "but all must know that it has been affirmed On High that which has been accepted here below," [i.e. that Chassidism would emerge victoriously]. "It is but necessary that we strengthen our service of repentance, for every redemption comes only after it is prefaced by repentance. We need to be redeemed from those that slander us, so we must have the preparation of repentance."
That year, tens of thousands of Chabad chassidim were afire with the service of repentance. All - from the most illustrious scholars of Chassidic thought and the most distinguished men of spiritual service, to the simple folk - immersed themselves in the service of repentance.
Purim 5543 (1783) found the Alter Rebbe in a state of extreme joy. He then said, "We were victorious!" The joy of the chassidim was incalculable.
At that time the Mitteler Rebbe, [the Alter Rebbe's eldest son and successor] who was then a mere nine years old, said that it is now similar to the original two periods of Purim.
During the first Purim period Mordechai called the Jews to repentance and they responded. Concerning that period it is written: "And the Jews took upon themselves [in Hebrew vikibeil] that which they had begun [in Hebrew heicheilu] to do."
Vikibeil [may alternately be rendered "lamented," so that the verse] means "they lamented," as we find the expression in the Mishnah: "We lament you."
Concerning this first Purim period the verse is to be rendered thusly: "The Jews lamented that which heicheilu - that which they had made mundane." [The Hebrew word heicheilu may alternately be rendered as deriving for the word chol or mundane.]
Mordechai's arousal of the Jewish people to repentance was successful. Not only did they mend their ways and repent, but the whole year through Jews had total self-sacrifice for Judaism. They hoped that G-d Himself would save them from their terrible predicament. This came to pass in the second Purim period with the miracle of Purim.
Concerning the second Purim period the verse is to be rendered thusly: "The Jews took upon themselves [vikibeil] that which they had hoped for [heicheilu]."
In this instance vikibeil means "to undertake," while heicheilu is rendered as "hoped for" [deriving from the Hebrew word chiloh, to beseech and hope].
During the second Purim period Jews accepted upon themselves that which they hoped for, which was that they be saved by the Almighty, and their prayerful wishes were fulfilled.
In our time [when our hopes are] of redemption, may G-d make us fortunate with His Divine assistance, that we repent and from the depth of our hearts lament that which we have made mundane.
May we fulfill Torah and mitzvos in complete truth, and strengthen our belief and faith in the complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach. At that time we will merit to see fulfilled speedily, that which we hope for, the complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach.