1. It is customary that we gather together once more before we part. Though each one of you has individual reasons for his journey, there is a basic common denominator. In every case — “man’s steps are ordained by G‑d” and controlled by Hashgachah Protis (Divine Providence).

(The word “Hashgachah” implies more than just casual involvement, but rather, placing careful attention to every one of the details as we see in regard to the “Hashgachah” over kosher food. Similarly, just as in that instance, the Hashgachah allows the food that is eaten to be used in the service of G‑d, so, too, G‑d’s Hashgachah allows every aspect of our lives to be dedicated to that goal. Thus, G‑d grants every Jew whatever he needs to serve Him with happiness and joy. When a Jew lives his life in a kosher manner, this provides a vessel for G‑d to fill with all the blessings that are necessary, “opening up His good treasure-stores for us.” Since, “it is the nature of the good to be generous,” surely, G‑d, the source of all good, will bless each Jew abundantly.)

It is natural that when many Jews gather together they feel joy and closeness and when they have to part, those feelings of closeness will be diminished. Nevertheless, since this parting is ordained by Hashgachah Protis, there must be a positive intent to be achieved by that parting which outweighs these feelings.

When each person will return home, he will have — and surely make use of — the potential to spread holiness and Yiddishkeit to the people in his surroundings. Were he not to do so, these people — be they Jews, or gentiles, in regard to their seven mitzvos — would not receive this influence.

Thus, when a Jew comes to such a place, he reveals how that place is a “dwelling place” for G‑d and, thus, brings joy to G‑d. Consequently, anyone will agree that it is worthwhile to sacrifice the feelings of closeness mentioned above for this higher goal. When a Jew realizes that he can bring pleasure to G‑d, he will be willing to forego his own pleasure.

There is an added emphasis on the above when the parting is held after having spent a festival together — or in this case several festivals, including festivals of fundamental importance such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah. This makes the parting even harder. However, conversely, we may assume that the activities that follow such a parting will bring G‑d even more joy and pleasure. In turn, the realization of this brings added pleasure to each and every Jew.

G‑d desires that this pleasure be enjoyed amid health and without worry. Therefore, He grants each and every individual a good and sweet year. Our trust that He will do so makes this parting easier and reinforces each person’s belief that he will succeed in carrying out G‑d’s will in the place to which he is traveling.

An additional concept is associated with the fact that this parting follows Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. Only in this regard do we find a special blessing — given by King Solomon — granted to the people as they departed from the Temple (see the Haftorah of that holiday). Though on Pesach and Shavuos, the Jews also made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, we do not find a blessing of this nature. Indeed, our Sages describe the Jews’ return home as “children parting from their Father. He tells them: “Your departure is difficult for Me.”

The Hebrew phraseology used by our Sages contains an important allusion. The expression they employed is “Pridaschem” — “your “parting,” though, on the surface, “Pridasainu” — “our parting” — would be more appropriate.

Surely, the expression “our parting,” does not refer to a separation between a Jew and G‑d for wherever a Jew is G‑d is with him. As the Alter Rebbe emphasizes in Tanya, at all times G‑d is standing over every Jew. Thus, it is not only in his house — nor only on Shabbos or the festivals — but wherever a Jew is, whatever he is doing, G‑d is with him. G‑d diverts, as it were, His attention from all the spiritual realms and focuses it on each individual Jew.

Therefore, the above statement must be interpreted differently. We can say that G‑d has difficulty in bearing “your parting” — i.e., the Jews’ separation one from another. This is also the rationale for the special blessing mentioned above. Since every Jew is journeying to a different destination, there is the possibility of separation arising between them. For this reason, they are granted this unique blessing.

Such a blessing was not granted on Pesach or Shavuos. After those festivals, the Jews would be gathering together again in the Temple in the near future, either after seven weeks or a few months. Hence, there was no need for such a blessing. However, after Shemini Atzeres, when there is half a year to the next time the Jews were obligated to gather together — and the winter climate made going out more difficult — it was necessary for a special blessing to ensure that separation not occur between Jews.

Even though we do not have a Temple at present — and therefore, our most heartfelt wish is that the Temple be rebuilt — we must realize that in the short time left until the Temple is rebuilt, we have been charged with a unique mission.

G‑d has told us: “Make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among you;” i.e., together with each Jew, in the inner reaches of his heart, in his intellect, and in every aspect of his being. This sanctuary can be established wherever a Jew can be found if he dedicates himself to that purpose and ignores the distractions of his natural inclination.

Thus, as each individual prepares to travel to his particular destination, he should think over how G‑d considers that “Your parting is difficult for Me.” Each person has a specific mission — and therefore, must travel to a specific place. There are those whose mission is in Eretz Yisrael and is associated with the particular mitzvos to be fulfilled there, and others whose mission is in the diaspora. Hence, they must separate from each other. Nevertheless, G‑d tells them: “Your parting is difficult for Me.”

What can it mean that something is difficult for G‑d. He is Omnipotent and there is nothing that is hard for Him to do. Nevertheless, He tells us that the parting of Jews one from the other is “difficult” for Him to bear.

G‑d has given man free choice. Hence, when Jews part in a geographic sense, there is the potential for separation to crop up among them. This is hard for G‑d to bear for it is against His will. However, since He has given a Jew free choice, there is nothing He can do about the matter.

Therefore, G‑d asks us to follow the Torah, in particular, the mitzvah of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. By fulfilling this mitzvah, we create joy for G‑d and remove the difficulty He feels from “our parting.”

G‑d entrusted this mitzvah to every Jew — man and woman — and charged them with educating their children in this manner. Thus, when a child is educated in a Jewish manner — i.e., not only educated to know that his origins are Jewish, but that he is Jewish and will become a living example of Jewish life — from the very beginning of the educational process, an emphasis must be placed on the love shared between Jews. To translate this into terms that a child will appreciate, when a child sees that his friend is lacking a candy which he possesses, he should give that candy to the child, even if, by doing so, he himself will lack that candy.

By doing so, one also fulfills the mitzvah of tzedakah, which is a very important mitzvah that can be fulfilled by children. Indeed, this mitzvah is one example of where a child’s act can be equal to that of an adult — for a deed performed by a child is halachically significant. Furthermore, there is an advantage to a child’s performance of this mitzvah for they often perform it with more warmth, truth, and feeling than adults do.

Based on the above, each Jewish child should behave with his friends in a manner which reveals how he knows that G‑d is watching him. This brings G‑d additional happiness and causes Him to bless your homes with greater blessings. Even though parents have already made the home a dwelling for G‑d, when a child puts a coin into one of the tzedakah pushkas in the house or gives something of his to a friend who comes to visit him, so that the friend will feel good, he adds to the light and holiness of the home.

The child’s addition to the light and holiness of the home is especially emphasized by the kindling of Shabbos and festival candles by young girls. Even a gentile who enters a Jewish home and sees the light of the candles will see how this act contributes to the light of the house and makes the house more pleasant and a place where it is easier to study Torah and perform mitzvos.

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2. There is a special lesson that can be derived from the fact that this gathering is being held on Tuesday, the day on which the Torah mentions the phrase “and G‑d saw it was good” twice. Our Sages explained that this refers to a twofold good: “good to the heavens and good to the creatures.”

This implies that in addition to taking care of one’s own spiritual welfare (“good to the heavens”), one should also be concerned with one’s fellow Jew (“good to the creations”). Thus, on a Tuesday, it is easier to fulfill G‑d’s command, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and thus prevent separation between Jews as explained above.

This is also connected to the Torah portion of the week which begins, “In the beginning, G‑d created the heavens and the earth.” On the surface, one might ask: What can be learned from this verse? How does the creation of the earth relate to a small Jewish child?

The answer can be found in Rashi’s commentary: The word Bereishis refers to two entities which are called “first” — Israel and the Torah. A Jew has to know that the entire world was created in order that he will study Torah and fulfill mitzvos as the Rambam states: With each mitzvah a Jew can tip the balance and draw down blessing for the entire world.

This is the ultimate goal of creation; that a Jew will lead a Jewish life and it is only through Torah that he will be able to know what a Jewish life is. This will bring about a stable world.

G‑d has given every Jew — even a little child — the power to help renew the creation of the world. When he recites the blessing shehakol nihiyah bidvaro” — “everything” — i.e., the totality of the heavens and the earth” was created with His word,” G‑d renews the creative power of His words which brought the creation into being. This is particularly true in the light of the Baal Shem Tov’s teaching that, at every moment, the creation is renewed.

It is understandable that the fulfillment of G‑d’s will — which is the intent of the entire creation — will also have an effect on the entire creation and bring about an increase in positive influences and a decrease in undesirable influences. This is in addition to receiving all the abundant blessings which G‑d will grant.

The above also relates to our contact with gentiles. When a gentile sees that a Jew acts as befits a Jew, i.e., in an ethical manner, without taking what does not belong to him, more favorable relations will be generated between the Jews and the gentiles. The gentiles will assist the Jews and do so in a pleasant manner.

A person may be provoked to questions for the above is not openly discernible, nor is it easily understandable. However, we see that in our own lives, as we grow older we are able to understand many things that we were not capable of comprehending beforehand. If he understands that at a young age he cannot comprehend all the concepts he can grasp when he is older, surely, he can comprehend that there is no way that he — a limited human being — can comprehend the totality of G‑d’s infinite wisdom.

Thus, G‑d promises “If you will walk in My ways... I will bring your rains in their season;” i.e., if a Jew does what is dependent on him — he studies Torah, fulfills mitzvos, and spreads them to others around him, G‑d will bless him with bounty in all his material needs.

This will extend “the season of our rejoicing” throughout the entire year. The term “our rejoicing” implies both the rejoicing of G‑d and the rejoicing of the Jewish people. This happiness began with the joyous coronation of G‑d as King of the world on Rosh Hashanah, was continued with the dancing with G‑d’s Torah on Simchas Torah, and was extended further on Shabbos Bereishis, which according to Jewish custom is celebrated with song and dance.

The Previous Rebbe taught that the posture which a Jew adopts on Shabbos Bereishis is that which he will continue throughout the entire year. Thus, the entire year will be one of happiness.

This happiness should be extended to other Jews when we meet them. As a contribution to spreading that happiness, at the end of this gathering, each person will be given a dollar to give to tzedakah. This will also contribute to Jewish unity, for when tzedakah is given in a proper manner it unites the giver and the recipient.

Also, as our Sages proclaim: “Tzedakah brings near the redemption.” May it bring near the ultimate and complete redemption, led by Mashiach, speedily, in our days.