1. When you gather at the conclusion of the summer vacation which you spent in camp, you have the opportunity to look back and evaluate what was accomplished during the past weeks.

The purpose of a vacation is to rest and to gain new physical strength. At the same time there is a more fundamental and essential reason, that the healthy body will improve the perfection of the soul.

It is human nature that for the body to perform properly it must be rested and strong, only then will the person be able to serve G‑d with calmness, ease, joy and a glad heart. This is true for those mitzvos done primarily by the body — as well as the mitzvos dependent on the soul. The body must help the soul observe its mitzvos.

Having attained the goal of a restful vacation in camp, when you return home you must apply yourselves with renewed vigor to Torah study and observing mitzvos with happiness and joy.

After the 15th of Av this is even more strongly emphasized — because the time is more opportune to study Torah, as the Gemara says:

From this day onwards, he who increases [his knowledge through study] will have his life prolonged. (Taanis 31a)

This is true, as well, in all areas of Yiddishkeit, even for those children who for some reason still do not know of the value, holiness and goodness of G‑d’s command to every Jewish child to study Torah and to observe the mitzvos, which will bring G‑d’s blessings.

On the fourth day of creation the Holy One, Blessed be He, made the two great luminaries “to shine on the earth” (Bereishis 1:15). Consequently, every Wednesday carries with it the special emphasis that every Jew, starting from young children, can illuminate the path of life for another Jew.

In the portion of Re’eh which we read this week we see how everything is created by G‑d and set before us:

See! I am setting before you today. (Devarim 11:26)

This is similar to the gist of the blessing “Shehakol” — “by whose word all things come to be” (Siddur). When you realize this, you certainly will conduct yourself according to G‑d’s will.

Today’s reading portion begins with the verse,

You are children of G‑d your L‑rd.... (Devarim 14:1)

This means that every Jew is G‑d’s child and must conduct him/herself in a fitting manner as befits a “prince” or “princess.” For example, in matters of eating or drinking “Do not eat any abomination”; only kosher food and holy food, and remember to first say the proper berachah, which makes the food special.

When you will conduct yourselves in this way then you will merit to see another great promise of Torah:

All your males shall thus be seen in the presence of G‑d your L‑rd in the place that He will choose. (Ibid. 16:16)

For the Beis HaMikdash will be built speedily in the time of the complete redemption, through our righteous Mashiach — “Mashiach Now!” As we just prayed Minchah together and said: May our eyes behold Your return to Tziyon in mercy!”

May this all come about with our complete people, our youth and elders, sons and daughters, back to our complete and “expanded” homeland — with the complete Torah and mitzvos. You have now accepted to increase your commitment to Torah and mitzvos throughout the year and to influence other children likewise, this will speed the coming of Mashiach even more, “Mashiach Now” — then, instead of sad days like Tishah BeAv we will celebrate holidays like the fifteenth of Av, speedily in our days.

We will conclude with the song “Sheyeboneh Beis HaMikdash,” after singing “We Want Mashiach Now,” speedily in our days. In addition to our prayers and words of Torah I will give each of you three coins — one for tzedakah today, one for tzedakah in the future and one for your own use.

It is of great importance that you take leave with the resolution to increase your observance of Torah and mitzvos, from this day, and especially the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, will surely increase His blessings and build the Beis HaMikdash now — so that we will all walk with our heads held high to our Holy Land — with joy and gladness.