1. Today is the 13th of Elul, the anniversary of the Previous Rebbe’s wedding. Since a Nasi includes within himself the entire people, it is self-understood that every member of our generation shares a connection to this event. The word Nasi has the meaning “uplifted.” The connection to the Previous Rebbe lifts up each member of the generation.

This is also associated with the Previous Rebbe’s name, Yosef Yitzchok. The name Yosef is connected with Rochel’s prayer, “May G‑d add to me another son,” and thus, alludes to the transformation of things which are “other,” alienated from G‑d (i.e., material activities which are not part of the Torah and mitzvos) into “a son,” one who is connected with Him. All this is carried out in a manner of joy, as expressed by Sarah’s explanation at the birth of Yitzchok, “Everyone who hears1 will rejoice with me.”

The uniqueness of this date is furthermore emphasized this year when it falls on Wednesday, a day connected with weddings as emphasized by the Mishnah “A maiden marries on Wednesday.”2

The above receives greater emphasis in the month of Elul when “the King is in the field,” “everyone is permitted [and has the potential] to approach Him,” and “He receives everyone with a pleasant countenance.”

The Previous Rebbe’s wedding has a connection to all the weddings in this generation, particularly the weddings that are celebrated on this same day. Though each wedding is an individual matter associated with the particular bride and groom,3 the fact that the same blessings are recited reveals a connection that is shared by all the weddings.

Among the blessings is our praise of G‑d “who consecrates His people Israel through Chuppah and Kiddushin alluding to the fact that the ultimate wedding relationship is between G‑d and the Jewish people. Similarly, the wedding blessings include our prayer that “Soon the L‑rd, our G‑d, will make heard in the cities of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem the voice of...,” a prayer which will be fulfilled in the Messianic redemption. That redemption will represent the consummation of the marriage bond between G‑d and the Jews. The giving of the Torah can be compared to their betrothal and the wedding will be in the Messianic Age.

The above will receive greater emphasis when connected with an actual deed, the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah. (This should be given with a “pleasant countenance.” The poor person should not have to wait to for the rich person to give him the gift. Instead, the rich person will go looking for the poor person so that he can perform this important mitzvah.)

The above is also connected with the portion of the Mishneh Torah studied at the present time, “The Laws of Sales.” As explained previously,4 the concept of a sale refers to a Jew’s service in transferring ownership of the world to G‑d. This “sale” is through one of three means: the payment of money, the exchange of a legal document, or the manifestation of ownership (chazakah). As explained these three means of acquisition parallel the three services of Torah, prayer, and deeds of kindness. This is related to a wedding for these same services are reflected in a deeper, more personal way in the three means of formalizing the bond of Kiddushin between the bride and the groom: the transfer of money, the transfer of a marriage contract, or marital relations.

There is also a connection to this week’s Torah portion and the mitzvah of Bikkurim (taking the first fruits). In connection with this mitzvah, the Torah teaches, “And you shall take from the first of all the produce of the earth.” Our Sages explain: You must take “from the first,” but not all the first. This implies that by consecrating a portion of one’s physical activity, the best portion, the first fruits, the remainder of that activity will also be carried out in connection with G‑d, “Know Him in all your ways.”

May we soon merit to fulfill the mitzvah of Bikkurim in Eretz Yisrael when we will proceed from the last moments of exile to the first moments of redemption. May it be immediately, now.