The Torah portion of Savo begins by saying:1 “When you come (savo) to the land that G‑d your L-rd is giving you as a heritage, occupying and settling it, you shall take of the first fruits….”

Thus, the opening words “When you come to the land” merely serve as a prelude to the commandments that the Jews are to perform after they have entered.

So too with regard to the verse:2 “On the day that you cross the Jordan to the land that G‑d your L-rd is giving you, you must erect large stones … On the stones you shall write all the words of the Torah in clear language.”

And the same is also true with regard to the verse:3 “These shall stand to bless the nation on Mt. Gerizim, when you cross the Jordan.”

There is no command in the portion Savo to enter the Land of Israel, or to conquer and divide it — things related in previous Torah portions.4 Rather, these verses relate specifically to the performance of mitzvos that was to follow our entry into the land.

The opening words “When you come to the land” thus come to tell us that since it is absolutely certain that the Jewish people will soon be “coming to the land,” they are to prepare themselves to perform those commandments that will then be required.

Still and all, the name of the portion is Savo “[When you] come ,” a name that indicates the imminent arrival in the land, rather than the commandments to be performed once the Jewish people are there, which is the general content of the portion.

The reason for this is that the preparations made for the performance of mitzvos after the entry into the land will be completed in a superior manner when one knows beyond a doubt that the arrival is near at hand.

There is a valuable lesson here with regard to our own spiritual service. “When you come to the land” implies the true and complete Redemption, a redemption that will never be followed by exile.5 At that time the performance of Torah and mitzvos will be in the most perfect manner possible.6

The preparation for this is the general service of Torah and mitzvos during exile, particularly at its conclusion. In the words of the Sifri :7 “Though I exile you from the land … be distinguished in your observance of mitzvos, so that when you return they will not seem novel” — “for mitzvos are most prominent when performed by those who dwell in G‑d’s land.”8

When we perform Torah and mitzvos in a “distinguished” manner today, we will merit to perform them in their ultimate manner when we “come to the land” — in the Future Redemption.

This then is the lesson of the portion’s title — Savo. In order that our preparation — the performance of Torah and mitzvos in the time of exile — for the subsequent Redemption be at its best, a Jew must be permeated with the knowledge that the time “when you come to the land” is imminent.

This knowledge makes it easy for a person to overcome all the difficulties and obstacles of exile, and serve G‑d with joy. For the person knows that the gloom of exile is only temporary.

All festive occasions are alluded to in the Torah portions that are read near the time of their occurrence.9 According to the above, we will understand why Savo is always read close to the 18th of Elul , the birthday of both the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe.

Both the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe revealed the teachings of Chassidus — the revelation of general Chassidus through the Baal Shem Tov, and the revelation of Chabad Chassidus through the Alter Rebbe. Since the birthdates of righteous individuals are especially auspicious days,10 it is understandable that on the 18th of Elul there is a great degree of added impetus regarding the revelation of Chassidus.

Since the revelation of Chassidus serves as a precursor to the Redemption,11 this day gives us added confidence that the time “when you come to the land” is at hand.

Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. XXIX, pp. 280-282.