1. As mentioned previously, the directive, “Open with blessing,” is particularly relevant in the month of Elul, and even more relevant in the final twelve days of the month. For on each of these twelve days, the potential is granted to compensate for the service of an entire month.

Surely, the Jewish people will carry out this service in a complete manner, for in regard to even the lowest levels of our people, our Sages assure us that they are “filled with mitzvos as a pomegranate is filled with seeds.”

The particular terms used in this expression are significant. Firstly, pomegranates share a connection to the upcoming holiday of Rosh HaShanah, since it is customary to eat pomegranates on that day. Pomegranates are also connected to mitzvos, as reflected in the statement in certain holy texts that a pomegranate possesses 613 seeds.

The fact that the above expression uses the term mitzvos for G‑d’s commandments is also significant. We find many other terms used to communicate that concept, e.g., eidus, chukim, and mishpatim.1 The term mitzvos emphasizes that through these acts, one establishes a connecting bond (tzavta) with G‑d.

In this context, we find the expression “three bonds are connected with each other, Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One, blessed be He.” (Indeed, this connection becomes strengthened in the month of Elul and especially so in the present days.) The expression refers to three bonds, for in addition to the bond between the Jews and G‑d established through the medium of the Torah, there is a direct bond between the Jews and G‑d. And thus, the three become unified in a circular ring.

Today, in particular, is an auspicious day, the third day of Selichos. This was one of the occasions on which the Previous Rebbe would recite maamarim in public.2 And for this reason, it is appropriate that on this day, everyone should learn at least a portion of one of the maamarim which the Previous Rebbe recited on that day.

The above also shares a connection to this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Nitzavim. Often Parshas Nitzavim is read together with Parshas Vayeilech. On this year, however, the two are read separately. An allusion to this is found in a phrase from the Book of Daniel (1:5), pas-bag hamelech. When hamelech (“the king”), the holiday of Rosh HaShanah which centers on the acceptance of G‑d’s Kingship, falls on bag, the second or third day of the week, pas, the reading of Nitzavim and Vayeilech is “divided” and is read on two separate Shabbasos. This year Rosh HaShanah falls on a Monday3 and therefore, the two readings are divided.

Thus there is an added dimension contributed to the Jewish people on these two Shabbasos. Although the holiness of the Shabbos is revealed from Above, it is possible to add a measure of holiness to the Sabbath. The Jews accomplish this through their service and thus increase the pleasure which they experience on the Shabbos.4

The ultimate in Shabbos pleasure is experienced on Shabbos afternoon, the time described as raavah diraavin (“the will of wills”) which is associated with the third Shabbos meal. Here also we see the importance of the number three. And this is reflected in the significance of the third day of Selichos.

The number three also relates to the Torah and the Jewish people as our Sages said, “A threefold light was given to a threefold people.”5 Furthermore, when the Jews conduct themselves according to the Torah, they endow the entire world with the quality of chazakah, a sequence of three associated with strength and permanence. For it is through the Torah that the world is endowed with stability. Similarly, the number three is associated with the Holy of Holies,6 for it is the third element of the Beis HaMikdash.

For this reason, when Jews meet they associate their meeting with tzedakah. For the Rebbeim would say, “When two Jews meet, their meeting should provide a benefit for a third Jew.” And this fuses all three into a single and unified bond.7

To return to the lesson to be derived from this week’s Torah reading: As mentioned above, the two readings are divided this year. In truth the concept of division is not relevant to the Jewish people, for the Jews are characterized by oneness. And hence, even in such a year there is an interrelation between the two readings.8

Parshas Nitzavim contains a verse representative of the Future Redemption, “And G‑d your L‑rd will return your captivity.” Furthermore, our Sages note that the verse does not say vihayshiv, but rather vishav, indicating that He Himself shared the exile with the Jews, and that He will return with them.

Parshas Nitzavim also relates to Rosh HaShanah. As explained on previous occasions, it is the Shabbos before Rosh HaShanah. And yet, on this Shabbos, the upcoming month of Tishrei is not blessed by the Jewish people. Instead, it is blessed by G‑d Himself. His blessing is Atem nitzavim, “You are standing in judgment,” and indeed, standing with the strength of a king.

(There is no need to elaborate on the latter teaching. It has already been explained at length on previous occasions. Those who grasped it do not need the elaboration. And if someone did not grasp it, he will be able to receive clarification afterwards, for there will surely be a farbrengen later.

This farbrengen will surely be conducted with great celebration and at least one of the participants will reach the level of ad d’lo yoda; needless to say, this should be within the limits established for, after all, today is not Purim.9 The farbrengen should, however, be powerful. It is related that in Lubavitch, the Chassidim would farbreng on the nights of Selichos and they would come to the Selichos prayers shaking from the farbrengen’s after-effects. And this despite the fact that they had immersed themselves in the mikveh previously. Although we cannot compare ourselves to those Chassidim, we must realize that we are their spiritual heirs.)

Through this we will come to Vayeilech Moshe, “And Moshe proceeded,” i.e., the spark of Moshe that exists within every Jew will proceed, and indeed, will proceed in a manner of Nitzavim, with the strength of a king.

Herein lies a connection to Rosh HaShanah, for Rosh HaShanah is associated with the crowning of G‑d as King. And it is the Jews who crown Him and thus they also share a dimension of His Kingship as reflected in the expression, “Who are our kings? Our Rabbis.”

And with this kingly power, the Jews influence the world in a manner of “The king’s word uproots mountains.” That expression is significant. A mountain is used as a metaphor for the yetzer hora (“the evil inclination”). This mountain is uprooted, i.e., it is not destroyed, but its place is transferred. As through the process of teshuvah, one’s sins become transformed into merits.10

The Torah reading of the present day also contains the verse, “The hidden matters belong to G‑d, but the revealed matters belong to us.” There is a connection with this verse and the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah (Torah’s mystic realm). In the present age, however, the AriZal stated that “It a mitzvah to reveal this wisdom.” Thus not only the actual observance of Torah and mitzvos, but also the emotional service of love and fear, and similarly, the knowledge of Pnimiyus HaTorah, are accessible and therefore should be attained by every Jew.

And this will lead to the ultimate Redemption. And then, “G‑d your L‑rd will return your captivity”; He will proceed together with the entire Jewish people to the Beis HaMikdash11 and to the Holy of Holies. This will come about through each Jew’s efforts in revealing the spark of Mashiach contained within his soul. And in a complete sense, this will come about in the Era of the Redemption. May it take place in the immediate future.