This Shabbos, the 3rd of Tammuz, is the 24th yahrzeit of our Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.
Following is an excerpt of a talk by the Rebbe, in which he describes the continuing energy flowing from a tzaddik -- even after his soul has ascended on high, and how we can tap into it, physically.
The words uttered by Rabbi Shalom DovBer, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, before his passing, are well known: "I am going to heaven, but my writings I am leaving to you."
To explain: "Tzaddikim resemble their Creator." Just as G-d embedded Himself within His Torah, as is evident from the statement of our Sages [regarding the first word of the Ten Commandments--ANOCHI--that it is an acronym for "I have written and given My soul," tzaddikim likewise "embed" themselves within the words of Torah that they teach.
This is the meaning of Rabbi Shalom DovBer's statement, "I am going to heaven, but my writings I am leaving to you": Through (studying) his writings (his Torah) in a manner that leads to action, to the extent that his teachings become disseminated, one becomes bound to Rabbi Shalom DovBer himself, as he is in his state of ascent in Heaven.
Because these writings are physically present in this world, Rabbi Shalom DovBer, himself, is found in this world. I.e., this is the means of eternal physical connection between the leader-Rabbi Shalom DovBer--and all of the Jewish people.
The same applies to his son and successor, [Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak], the leader of this generation who also left us his writings, books, and possessions--including the physical ones--through which we can physically connect to him.
... Rabbi Shalom DovBer's aforementioned statement, "I am going to heaven, but my writings I am leaving to you," also implies that by binding oneself to the leader of the generation--by connecting to his writings, books, and so on, in which he embedded himself-all those who walk "in the straight path that he has shown us of his paths, and [who] walk in his ways forevermore" receive from the essential, eternal existence of the tzaddik's holiness.
This is primarily accomplished by studying his writings and teachings, and translating them into action; educating oneself as well as by disseminating the writings and teachings to others.
In return, one's being is illuminated by "all the holy sparks and all the holy lights that are contained" within the leader of the generation, who comprises "everything," for "the leader is everything." This leads one "to understand and comprehend Your Torah [including, in particular the subject at hand--the writings and teachings of the leader], and the fear of You, to do Your will all the days of my life--I and my children and my children's children, from now and forevermore."
The practical lesson from this is:
We need to attach ourselves to the Jewish leaders of each respective generation, and in this generation, to my father-in-law, the Rebbe. This ensures us that we will receive from the leader's "eternity."
It also leads us "to understand and comprehend [G-d's] Torah"--referring to both the Revealed and Inner Torah, including the teachings of our Rebbes. And "study is important for it leads to action," [which allows one to achieve] "to do [G-d's] will all the days of my life" by performing
--Staying the Course, P. 126-130