On Lag BaOmer, the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita, spoke to the thousands of children assembled for the Lag BaOmer Parade. From the reviewing stand in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, his address was carried live over international satellite T.V. and it was seen by tens of thousands of people on five continents.

The Rebbe spoke of the pure and precious blessing which emanates from the hearts and souls of young Jewish children and how Lag BaOmer provides an opportune time to fulfill the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael. The omer teaches us the importance of preparing for Matan Torah and the concept of combining all our previous activities to prepare for a momentous event. G‑d rejoices when His will is done on earth. We must also be joyous that we can make G‑d happy.

Once again the Rebbe stressed the importance of influencing the Nations of the world to observe the Seven Noachide Laws, emphasizing that it would guarantee peace and prosperity on earth.

Since the President of the United States recently issued a proclamation urging all people to observe the Seven Noachide Principles it is now easier for every individual to motivate more non-Jews to follow the universal Laws given to all mankind. This conduct will lead to the coveted blessings of peace for all the world.

Let us begin with blessings. Torah teaches us to address every gathering of Jews with words of benediction and good wishes for all the assembled, and as Torah blessings emanate from the inner heart, our blessing will emanate from the depths of the hearts of young and old.

The blessings which you children will proclaim are very precious, for they come from the pure hearts of small Jewish children, and they are spoken with ‘a breath in which there is no sin.’ (Shabbos 119b) Small children are connected to Torah and Yiddishkeit with all their energy and this strength is not dissipated by involvement in worldly matters such as earning a living, involvement in business, or careers. Being free of all these matters, small children may be immersed all day in Torah study, observance of mitzvos and good actions; the way Jewish children should always conduct themselves.

Jewish boys are referred to as the ‘sons of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov’ and Jewish girls are seen as the ‘daughters of Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah.’ With the power of our sacred ancestors, the blessings expressed by the children certainly well up from the inner depth and richness of their hearts. When Jews extend these sincere blessings to one another, then presently, the Holy One, Blessed be He, also adds His multiple blessings from His full, open, holy, abundant and overflowing hand.

G‑d’s blessings serve to strengthen and enliven the conduct of the Jewish children in all areas of Yiddishkeit with material and spiritual health so that the parents, grandparents and educators will derive much more nachas — satisfaction — from the children and they will become more involved in further educating the children in good health and prosperity.

All of this is greatly enhanced when many children gather together. One of the most important commandments of the Torah is to love your neighbor as yourself. Rabbi Akiva said this is an important principle of Torah and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai carried on the teachings of Rabbi Akiva. On Lag BaOmer we celebrate the HillulaYahrzeit and holiday of Rashbi and when many children gather on Lag BaOmer the opportunity to show love for every Jew is very great.

This Ahavas Yisrael should influence all areas of a Jewish child’s activities in Torah and mitzvos, and by setting a good example it will influence other Jewish children to make strong resolutions to practice their religion, beginning with showing love to their friends — boys to boys and girls to girls and continuing with other mitzvos throughout the coming year.

This good conduct on the part of the children will also influence their parents and educators to increase their educational efforts, with affection, and these parents will also tell their friends about these good occurrences and influence other parents and educators to do likewise. All this will engender greater blessing from the Holy One, Blessed be He.

What special lesson do we draw from the 33rd day of the Omer to enhance the good conduct of Jewish children?

Torah illuminates our life and as we seek a lesson for the young children, at same time we are reminded of the rule that the elders must admonish the young and by doing so, the hearts of the fathers are turned back to G‑d through their children.

On the subject of counting the days of the Omer our sages tell us that it constitutes a period of preparation for Shavuos, the Season of the Giving of Our Torah. When the Jewish people were liberated by Moshe and marched out of Egypt they knew that their goal was to ‘Serve G‑d on this mountain’ — so they counted the days, anxiously and impatiently, waiting for Matan Torah. We commemorate this longing for Torah each year when we count the days of the Omer between Pesach and Shavuos, once again expressing our impatient longing to receive the Torah.

Torah is the most precious of G‑d’s creations, so much so that it is referred to as the ‘sequestered treasure.’ It was this treasure which G‑d gave to the Jewish people openly and completely — ‘He chose us from among the nations of the world and gave us His Torah.’ (Siddur) It is this Torah which is the inheritance of every Jew: ‘The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Yaakov.’ (Devarim 33:4) This inheritance is the possession of every Jew who can study, comprehend and even be creative in Torah.

When a child begins to speak we teach him words of Torah. While he was still in the cradle his bed was festooned with verses of Torah and the lullabies which were sung to the child extolled the value of Torah, ‘it is the best merchandise,’ more precious than all the treasures of heaven and earth. It was for this precious gift that the Jews counted the days which served as a preparation for Matan Torah and each day they rose to a higher level and increased their longing for Torah.

The formula of the Counting of the Omer is cumulative, each day adds to the Divine service of the previous days, and all together they raise the person higher and closer to Torah. On the second day we count ‘two days of the Omer,’ and on the 33rd day we count ‘thirty-three days of the Omer.’ All the days have been added together in preparation for receiving the Torah.

This is the clear lesson which we must draw from this gathering in the Omer period. These Sefirah days teach us to count and await the time when we will receive the Torah anew, with new strength and enthusiasm. The preparation phase should be highlighted by firm commitment and decisions in Torah and mitzvos, each day adding more good resolutions upon previous commitments, so that on the 33rd day we have all the accomplishments of the previous 32 days, and then continue to grown and advance until the day of the giving of the Torah.

Certainly, all of you will attend Synagogue on Shavuos when the Ten Commandments will be read and you will listen carefully to the blessings and answer Amen and then follow the Torah reading.

From the Sefirah days we learn that we must always count, advance and grow in all areas of Torah and mitzvos — for everyday we have the opportunity to receive the Torah as new. This growth will also bring greater blessings from G‑d. As the Torah tells us: ‘If you follow My laws and are careful to keep My commandments,’ (Vayikra 26:3) then we will receive all the blessings enumerated in the following verses. Lag BaOmer introduces an added source of inspiration because it is the special day of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

It could happen that when a child learns this lesson of Sefirah he will ask: ‘How can I accomplish this formidable task, it seems to be too difficult a responsibility, especially in the time of exile.’

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai answers just that question when he teaches us:

See how precious are the Jewish people before the Holy One, Blessed be He,...to every place where they were exiled the Shechinah went with them...they were exiled to Edom and the Shechinah went with them. (Megillah 29a)

In the darkest diaspora G‑d is with every Jewish child — He dwells with him everyday and every moment.

G‑d stands over him and the whole earth is full of His glory and He searches his mind and heart to see if he is serving Him as is fitting. (Tanya ch. 41)

It is clear that since G‑d is always with every Jewish child (in galus) He certainly gives every child the ability to serve G‑d properly, which includes growth and improvement even in the darkest galus. He also has the power to do this with happiness and gladness. Knowing how close G‑d is to him, despite the natural distance, the child is encouraged and happy. His joy is manifold when he recalls the aphorism we just recited in the 12 verses and sayings of our sages:

The Jews should rejoice in their Maker. Every Jew should share in G‑d’s joy, who rejoices and is happy in His dwelling in this world. (Tanya ch. 33)

This means that G‑d is happy with the world He made and Jews should be doubly happy for this. On this day the Rashbi also asked us to be more happy. When a person is happy he can accomplish a lot more than usual, so that from this day we go forward with rich optimism, certain of growth and accomplishment in Torah and mitzvos, with great happiness, and then G‑d will bestow all His blessings upon us.

When Jews serve G‑d with joy it increases G‑d’s joy. When a Jew rejoices that G‑d is with him then G‑d in even happier with His people. And through His people G‑d is also happy with all His creations — the heavens, the earth and all their host which are blessed and continue to exist in the merit of ‘the breath of small children in which there is no sin.’ The Universe will then be blessed with the supreme blessing of peace which includes all other blessings — and engenders all other blessings, brilliantly and openly.

The Talmudic adage: ‘The world endures only for the sake of...school children’ (Shabbos 119b) conveys to us the important principle that the conduct and condition of young Jewish school children has a vital effect on the world, and in their merit the world is the beneficiary of G‑d’s blessings. At the same time their influence may be felt on all the nations of the world.

The Rambam (Maimonides) clearly rules in the Laws of Kings that every Jew has the responsibility to influence the gentile nations of the world to accept and observe the universal commandments given to them by G‑d. The Divine ordinances given to mankind are known as the Seven Noachide Laws, which are really seven broad, legal principles that include many specific laws wherewith to govern human society. Even the gentile nations must realize and recognize that these laws were commanded by G‑d in the Torah and taught to the world by Moshe our teacher. (Laws of Kings 8:10-11)

The underlying theme of these seven principles is to effect the realization of the Divine will for the world: ‘He formed it to be inhabited.’ (Yeshayahu 45:18) And the inhabitants of the world must create a social order that provides the framework for a peaceful and tranquil existence. The goal of existence is ‘peace in the land,’ peace among nations, peace among individuals, which is the state of existence we will have when Mashiach will come. Then, ‘there will be no famine, and no war, no jealousy and no rivalry,’ as well as no distress of any form.

In a broader sense the peace will also encompass the relationship of G‑d and His creations, all peoples and all living beings, all flora and all fauna. This peacefulness will blossom into joyousness when G‑d sees how His creations fulfill His various desires and recognize Him as Creator of the world. This condition is indicative of the future state when:

Then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of the L‑rd to serve Him with one consent. (Tzephaniah 3:9)

This year’s gathering on Lag BaOmer which occurs in the week that we read in the Torah: ‘I will grant peace in the land,’ (Vayikra 26:6) places greater emphasis on our duty to influence and motivate the non-Jewish world to fulfill the Seven Noachide Principles with all their details.

Learn from these children!

These Jewish children have assembled here and are rejoicing and practicing the mitzvah of loving their fellow Jews. These children say no falsehoods and covet not what others have, in fact they relentlessly do whatever they can in the realm of kindness and charity to all who are near them.

Certainly this ideal living example will move the gentile leaders who see and hear them to refrain from falsehood, thievery and to practice charity. They will certainly be imbued with a spirit of kindness and then automatically famine and wars will disappear from the face of the earth.

Along with the command, G‑d bestows the power to perform — so that this dream can truly become a reality.

Not long ago the President of the United States issued a much heralded proclamation which gave special attention to the Seven Noachide Laws.

In the Presidential proclamation (issued on Education Day, 1987) the President underscored the vital importance of the Seven Noachide Laws. He stressed that our duty to perform these rules comes from G‑d’s command and that the principles of independence of the United States rest strongly on the premise of exercising G‑d’s will on earth.

In addition to the citizens of America the President also urged all the leaders of the nations of the world to beseech their citizens to observe the laws of Noach — for their own benefit, so that they should enjoy peace, prosperity and serenity. Now that the President has raised this subject it should be easier for every individual to encourage others to do them.

May G‑d grant that the President’s appeal should be heeded here at home and abroad, and hopefully the leaders of the sovereign states of the world will turn to their people and urge them to observe the laws of Noach in all their varied details.


In addition to these lessons of Sefirah and Lag BaOmer the wise students will find more to learn from and will grow in wisdom, understanding and knowledge and then be more diligent in observing mitzvos. As a result of which they will receive even greater blessings listed in the Torah, culminating with the blessing, ‘I will lead you forth with your heads held high,’ staunchly, enthusiastically and joyfully — having studied Torah and having encouraged others to follow G‑d’s ways. All this is an increasingly radiant way.

The true light and brilliance will radiate when ‘The L‑rd shall be to you an everlasting light.’ (Yeshayahu 60:19) For all will pay homage to G‑d and He will illuminate the world, since everyone will fulfill his/her G‑dly obligations.

It is our custom to incorporate the mitzvah of tzedakah — charity — into our gatherings, for charity indicates G‑d’s infinite benevolence. He created all beings and all that we receive from the Holy One, Blessed be He, is analogous to a pauper who is patronized by a prince.

Yet, G‑d has given us the initiative, and the charity we receive from G‑d does not demean us rather it uplifts us for it comes from the Holy One, Blessed be He, and is received by Jews who are rich with Torah and mitzvos, and most of all, G‑d gave us the opportunity to draw down His benevolence by practicing charity ourselves.

It therefore makes sense to include tzedakah in our program today — I will give each of you a coin for charity and you should add another coin of your own for charity.

This action will engender G‑d’s blessing upon each and everyone of you, upon all Jews and upon all mankind, in an infinite and pleasant manner. Ultimately your tzedakah will bring the ultimate tzedakah, the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach, and when all mitzvos are observed with zealousness then the redemption will come quickly. And then the peace will be all-encompassing.

This points to the Torah dictum: The purpose of the creation of every Jew and of all the worlds is to make a dwelling place for G‑d in this world. (Tanya ch. 33)

‘And kingship will be the L‑rd’s.’ May it be speedily and truly in our days, Amen, so may it be.