1. We have now completed the Days of Tashlumin for the holiday of Shavuos. Tashlumin has two meanings: a) “compensation,” to make up for what was lacking in the past, b) “perfection” or “completion,” to lift up one’s service to a higher and more complete level.

This implies renewed and intensified effort in the study of Torah and in the services that result from it, the fulfillment of mitzvos and the service of G‑d in a manner of “Know Him in all your ways,” and “All your deeds shall be for the sake of Heaven.”

Though it is now after the evening service of the 13th of Sivan, nevertheless, during the evening, until dawn (or until midnight),1 the priests would offer the limbs and the fats of the sacrifices which were brought during the day. The concept of sacrifice has its parallels in our service of G‑d. On the verse, “A person of you who will offer a sacrifice,” our Sages have commented that a person’s sacrifice must come from himself, i.e., he must bring himself as a sacrifice. A sacrifice consisted of offering the fat and blood of the animal on the altar. Similarly, there are spiritual counterparts to these qualities. Blood refers to a person’s energy and vitality; fat, to his capacity for pleasure.2 Bringing ourselves as a sacrifice involves dedicating these potentials to G‑d and serving Him through Torah and mitzvos.

Based on the above, it follows that the potential to offer the fats and the limbs until dawn (or until midnight) of the following day, teaches that we are still able to continue the service of the previous day until that hour. Thus, the service of tashlumin for the holiday of Shavuos can still be continued until tomorrow morning. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to use this time in the most complete possible fashion, reaching the highest level of perfection.

2. Our Sages taught, “one must always advance in holiness.” Thus, tomorrow morning, after the completion of the service of tashlumin, we must proceed to an even higher rung of service. Yet, this raises a question: After having completed the service of tashlumin for the season of the giving of the Torah, reaching a level of perfection and completion in that service, how is it possible to reach a higher level of service?

[The resolution of this question depends on the appreciation of the advantage of service carried out by a person on his own initiative:] On all the previous days, the Jews were under the influence of the unique days associated with the holiday of Shavuos. Their service during this period does not necessarily indicate that the giving of the Torah has changed their individual natures for during this entire period they were helped by spiritual influences. Our Sages describe Shavuos as “the day which caused [an elevation].”3 Similarly, the days of preparation and tashlumin for the holiday added certain dimensions to the Jews’ service over and above those stemming from their own efforts.

To explain: On Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the Jews camped before Mount Sinai. The mountain’s influence caused them to camp “as one man, with one heart.” This influence continued in the following days and was intensified in the three days of Hagbalah. Surely, the giving of the Torah lifted the Jews to a higher rung than they could possibly achieve on their own. These influences continue in the days that follow, the Days of Tashlumin.

“These days are recalled and celebrated.” Each year, the same spiritual influences are revealed anew, indeed, in a higher and more complete manner. Thus, until the thirteenth of Sivan, our service is supported by these spiritual influences. The thirteenth of Sivan is then a test of how much the giving of the Torah has effected each person. We see how much he will increase his service of Torah and mitzvos when everything is dependent on his own effort and initiative. On the thirteenth of Sivan, we can see who a person is and what we can demand from him.

Therefore, each person must meditate on the responsibility that lies upon him and begin this new period of service with renewed strength for everything depends on him.4 We must all increase our study of all of the disciplines of Torah. In particular, this applies to the study of Chitas which is associated with the three leaders: Moshe, King David, and the Baal Shem Tov who are connected to the holiday of Shavuos. Furthermore, this involves “spreading the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov (and those of the Nesi’im who followed him5 ) outward.” Also, since “study is great because it brings about deed,” this should also involve an increase in tzedakah.

May this bring about the ultimate tzedakah to be performed by G‑d, the coming of Messianic redemption, when “a new Torah will emanate from Me.” May it be immediately.