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A Hakhel Year Message to Children

A Hakhel Year Message to Children

5727 [1966-67]

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By the Grace of G‑d
Chol-hamo’ed Succos
Sedra: Brochoh, Year: Hakhel
5741. Brooklyn, N.Y.

To All Jewish Children of
pre-Bar/Bas Mitzvah Age
G‑d bless you all!

Greeting and Blessing:

You surely know that we are now in a special year, called the year of Hakhel (Year of Assembly). During the time when the Bais Hamikdosh (Holy Temple) in Jerusalem was in existence, it was in this year—and precisely in these (first) days of Chol-hamo’ed Succos—that the special Mitzvah (G‑d’s commandment) of Hakhel was carried out: All Jews, men, women, and children, even the very young ones, were assembled in the Bais Hamikdosh, where the King read before them portions from the Torah, and everybody listened very attentively, and learned to keep and do all that is written in the Torah throughout their entire life.

You surely also know that the Torah requires us, all Jews, to observe the anniversaries of important happenings in the history of our Jewish people; and to think deeply about these events, and to relive them as though we were there in person, in order to learn from them the proper lessons and to apply them in our personal lives, in our daily life here and now.

For example: When our very first festival, Pesach—on the 15th of Nissan—comes around, the uppermost thought in our mind is how G‑d took us out from the Golus (exile) and slavery of Egypt, and made us free to serve Him and fulfill His Mitzvos.

Similarly, when the days of Hakhel come around (once in seven years), everyone of us, including the very small children, must become deeply mindful that our homes and every Jewish home, also the Jewish school that houses the children (and their classmates), should be pure and holy, like being in the Bais HaMikdosh; and that in every Jew, young and old, there is a “king” that rules and directs his daily activities, this being our Emunah (belief) in G‑d, with which we begin our everyday life, as all of us, including the tiny tots, say immediately upon rising in the morning: Modeh ani—“I give thanks to You, living and eternal King.” We must listen attentively, with obedience and devotion, to this “king” in us, in order to make sure that everything we do is in keeping with what is written in His Torah.

Everyone should also be involved in Hakhel: Starting now and continuing through the year—on suitable occasions, and particularly on Shabbos—to get together for the purpose of learning a portion of Torah or a Torah subject, and encouraging each other in the doing of Mitzvos all the better.

In order that all this should be with still greater Hatzlocho, it would be a good idea for those who can participate more often in such gatherings, to form a kohol, a permanent group, or unit, under the same name everywhere “Tzivos Hashem” “G‑d’s Army,” to which every Jew already belongs from childhood, all the better to carry out the Divine order: “Fill the earth and master it”—mastering all that is around him/her by filling the environment with true light, the light of Torah and Mitzvos, so that everyone will see and know that the whole world is G‑d’s.

Wishing you much Hatzlocho in all above, and a joyful Yom Tov, and that the entire year should be a good and sweet year,


Editor’s note: Because of the holiness of the Festival, the Rebbe did not sign this letter.

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