1. Every Shabbos extends its blessings to “its” week, the following weekdays and the next Shabbos. The Zohar puts it this way:

For the six days receive blessing from the seventh. (Zohar II, 63b)

From this connection between Shabbos and the days that ensue it follows that the Shabbos must also have some feature similar to the days that it blesses.

Consequently, the Shabbos that precedes Rosh Hashanah, from which Rosh Hashanah receives its blessing, also has some aspect similar to Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah symbolizes the renewal of creation. Chassidus explains that at the conclusion of the year everything reverts to it pre-existent state. The sounds of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah morning engender a new generation of creativity from the inner essence of supernal “delight,” which descends down to the lower worlds. On Rosh Hashanah this effulgence remains in a hidden state and then throughout the year this life-force is revealed in a metered and measured way.

Why was Rosh Hashanah set on the sixth day of creation, the day that Adam was created, and not on the first day of creation?

1. The commentaries of the Talmud explain that the creation of man was the goal of all creation, so that until man was formed nothing truly existed. For this reason, Rosh Hashanah is called the “beginning of Your work” since man, the most prominent of G‑d’s works, was made on that day.

2. The ongoing renewal of the creative force of the world now depends on the Divine service of the Jew. The initial creation emerged from G‑d’s desire to bestow kindness, but now the continued existence of the world depends on the necessary “awakening from below.” Consequently, the new creation of all matter is effected by man’s endeavors.

Thus, we stress two concepts on Rosh Hashanah:

A — The complete creation as it was created by G‑d;

B — The “improvement” caused by man to the “complete creation” created by G‑d’s desire to bestow kindness. This is the import of the expression: “A desire to the work of Your hands” (Iyov 14:15).

This theme of Rosh Hashanah may also be found in Shabbos.

On Shabbos there is a renewal of celestial benevolence. The blessing which the six days receive from Shabbos included the Manna which represented all manner of human sustenance. Now, although no Manna fell on Shabbos, nevertheless, the blessing for the weekly allocation of Manna from heaven was generated on Shabbos. Thereafter, each day of the week the blessing emerged from the hidden to the revealed state — and the Manna came down in the physical form. Since the Manna was so refined (there was no waste) we realize that the benevolence of Shabbos is on a very lofty and perfect level.

Yet, Shabbos also emphasizes the need for human service.

Shabbos has the quality that:

The Shabbos has already been sanctified and so continues. (Beitzah 17a)

At the same time the theme of Shabbos is also enhanced by the Divine service of man, as the prophet advises: “And you call the Shabbos delight” (Yeshayahu 58:13), to which the Talmud adds: “He who delights in the Shabbos (adds delight to Shabbos)” (Shabbos 118a). Shabbos also has the theme of happiness and thereby includes the power of “joy which bursts out of all restrictions.”

It turns out that Shabbos shares two mutual themes with Rosh Hashanah: A — They draw down the complete celestial blessing. B — Human Divine service evokes an even higher level of revelation.

Let us take a closer look.

Rosh Hashanah (the first day of Tishrei) initiates the existence of the natural world within the framework of natural law and phenomena. This is in contrast to the power of the month of Nissan which functions in a miraculous manner.

Shabbos, too, functions within the framework of natural law, drawing blessing to the six days of the week in a continuous fashion. In this role it injects the power of the infinite into the finite. The joy of Shabbos operates within the limitations of Shabbos, and when it bursts the barriers, in effect it is introducing the infinite into the finite.

Let us now consider the Shabbos which precedes Rosh Hashanah. Its blessing will be bestowed on Rosh Hashanah, as such, it not only blesses the day of Rosh Hashanah and the entire coming month, but also all the days of the ensuing year which are included in the day of Rosh Hashanah.

Man’s Divine service, too, on this Shabbos must be relatively more intense. Being the last Shabbos of the year, the need for the “awakening from below” is more acute.

This thought is expressed in the verse “I am (devoted) to my Beloved, and my Beloved is (devoted) to me (Ani LeDodi VeDodi Li = E’L’U’L’). (Shir HaShirim 6:3)

There are four terms in this verse:

A — “Ani — I” the presence of the person.

B — “LeDodi — [devoted] to my Beloved” — this defines the connection between man and G‑d through active human Divine service. This is the “awakening from below.”

C — “VeDodi — and my Beloved (is devoted)” — here we refer to the drawing downward of the Supernal desire.

D — “Li — to me” this supernal stirring is absorbed by the person in an innermost manner and is incorporated in his essence — so that the emanation from G‑d becomes his. We see this rule especially in the study of G‑d’s Torah, where the Talmud states:

The Torah...is assigned to him [who studies it].... “In his own Torah does he meditate day and night” (Tehillim 1:2). (Avodah Zarah 19a)

Clearly, during the month of Elul the human input is of vital importance as we see from the acrostic E’L’U’L’ — that the initial letter aleph leads off with the word “Ani” — putting the emphasis on the person! Likewise, the joy of Shabbos intensified by human Divine service will find special expression on this Shabbos — because the portion of Nitzavim accentuates the closeness of every Jew to G‑d, and the Haftorah speaks of double and intense joy.

The combination of the two portions of Nitzavim and Vayeilech this year, emphasizes the dual revelation of Tishrei and Shabbos. Vayeilech symbolizes the advance and increase in an extraordinary fashion not relative to the previous levels, while Nitzavim signifies the steady unstopping movement of continuity — without stop. The combination creates a symbiosis of a force that bursts out in a regular fashion.

Further analysis will show that Vayeilech alludes to Moshe’s advancement at the age of 120. Having reached the apex of his worldly spiritual development, Moshe then advanced in an immeasurable way, beyond his level of perfection. Moshe’s conduct, of course, impresses a vivid lesson on us all — for we all possess a spark of Moshe in us (Tanya, ch. 42).

The point is that one should never be complacent with past accomplishments. Even when you reach the epitome of perfection, you must continue to increase and rise in matters of holiness. Move on in an infinite way (Vayeilech), just as Moshe did when he reached the “complete” age of 120, and then fuse it with the regular Divine service of “Nitzavim.”

Since delight and pleasure are basically expressions of passive good feelings which cannot condone excitement, while joy and rejoicing are expressions of active exuberance which cannot be still, to the point of moving and dancing, when we combine these two forces it allows an intensification in the joy, which normally could not be expected in the case of Nitzavim alone.

Thus, human Divine service can and must go beyond the complete effulgence from above, and through joy, which breaks out of its restrictions, draw down blessings from a much loftier state, beyond measure, and radiate it into the channels of normal absorption in all matters of physical need — children, life, abundant sustenance, bodily health, good vision, etc., in a revealed and apparent way.

We take this approach optimistically, for we are sure that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will inscribe us in the Book of the Truly Righteous, and in our letters to our friends we extend our good wishes to them to be inscribed for a good year. In all these matters the introduction of a joyous temperament will increase and intensify the blessings, especially starting from this Shabbos. At this time of “greatest delight” on Shabbos (afternoon), at a joyous farbrengen where we say LeChaim on wine — it is the appropriate time to extend mutual blessings from one to another for all good things, including a Kesivah VaChasimah Tovah for a sweet and good year. And since on this day we all stand before G‑d, then in response to our blessing of LeChaim, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will answer: “For life and for a blessing”; “For good life and for peace.”

Then all the necessary blessings will crystallize and materialize in all areas of our physical need. The good physical blessings will in turn influence the spiritual realm, just as in the future the soul will receive sustenance from the body. So may it be, speedily and truly in our times.

2. This year the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah occurs on the 23rd of Elul, and since Rosh Hashanah will fall on Shabbos, Selichos will be recited all through this coming week.

Our sages have taught:

He who took trouble [to prepare] on the eve of the Shabbos can eat on the Shabbos. (Avodah Zarah 3a)

The preparation for Shabbos includes all the days of the week, not just Friday, and so, when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos and there is a full week of Selichos, then, the preparation for Rosh Hashanah encompasses all the weekdays and is truly complete and perfect.

Another special factor this year, it is a leap year. Being a “complete year” means that all aspects of the year have a certain wholeness not evident in other years. This thought is most appropriate at the end of the year, for “everything depends on the ending.”

On this last Shabbos of the “complete year” the completeness is felt even more, both regarding the drawing of the radiance from above and the human input from below.

The special aspects of this Shabbos should be expressed in everyone’s conduct on this Shabbos so that even small children should sense that there is something special about this Shabbos, more holiness and the feeling of anticipation to the upcoming Rosh Hashanah. A young girl may be told that her act of candle lighting takes on special meaning on this Shabbos as it is the last one of the year and next week (on Rosh Hashanah) she will add the blessing of Shehecheyanu, etc.

3. The 23rd of Elul is the Yahrzeit of my late grandfather (R. Meir Shlomo Halevi Yanovsky). In the days of the Rebbe Maharash he was among the Chassidim who studied in the Beis Midrash of the Rebbe Maharash, known as the “sitters.”

Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim had not yet been established and it was customary at that time for young men soon after their marriage to travel to the city of Lubavitch and spend time in the company of the Rebbe Maharash. As it turned out they would end up staying there for quite a while devoting themselves diligently to Torah study — exoteric and esoteric — in a settled and permanent fashion sitting in the Beis Midrash and studying all day. So they were referred to as the “sitters.”

In those days while young men were still single there was no question that all their time was devoted to Torah study. It could not be any other way. When a boy reached the age of bar-mitzvah he did not think of money, or honor, but solely about Torah. He was zealously devoted to his studies, not only during class time but also during his free time, when he ate, or slept he would also seek ways to steal time for study. This ideal was implanted in every child by the very air he breathed at home, where was born, raised and educated. In those days there was no need to gather for a farbrengen to encourage such behavior, or to invoke the special powers of Elul to get the boys to learn.

Later, when the young man reached the age of marriage and began to think of settling down he had to try his hand at business or a trade, but even then the young man knew that the essential thing was to study Torah. During the day he saw to it that the majority of his time should be devoted to Torah, and his other endeavors took only a small portion of the day.

When the time actually came to leave his books, he would be upset, and sometimes he would forget that the time for study was up and he would have to be reminded that he had the responsibility to do a particular job and that it must be done properly and faithfully.

Tzedakah, too, was something that was assiduously pursued and no one had to be reminded to give 10 per cent or more of all his profits.

What was a bit exceptional was the practice by some young men that after the wedding they traveled to Lubavitch and spent a period of time there devoted to Torah study, revealed and esoteric. Now, despite the fact that they had the new responsibility of supporting a family, including all the particulars of commitment to their wives, and the implied condition of being “free for his family for one year,” nevertheless, this was done with the full consent of all parties.

During this period that these young men stayed in Lubavitch — they laid the foundation upon which they built their families and homes for the rest of their lives. This period sealed their outlook and their character for the future.

In the case of my grandfather, he was later appointed to the important rabbinic position held earlier by his grandfather, and this came about mainly because of his intense training and study during his time in Lubavitch. His greatness in halachic rulings, and his profound G‑d-fearing nature were also results of the pervading influence that was impressed upon his nature and character in the shadow of the Rebbe Maharash.

This is not just a story of days bygone, but also a directive for us to take a lesson for our days.

Today, sorry to say, it is even necessary to remind and encourage yeshivah students of their obligation and the vital importance to dedicate the whole day to Torah study. This is true even for young men who have no responsibility with regard to earning a livelihood.

First of all, we must make people aware that when it comes to religious matters they should not rely on their own evaluations and instincts. And certainly not to ask advice of the yetzer hora. Do not ask the yetzer hora whether to study more time or to cease your studies and go over to the pizza store!

This rule should be obvious, a minori ad majus, from the situation of health. When one suffers some physical discomfort he does not rely on his own diagnosis but he runs to the doctor and pays good money, because it pertains to his health. How much more so should you not rely on your own prognosis in spiritual matters.

And so it becomes necessary to reemphasize this point. A young man who is not yet responsible to earn a living must be completely involved in Torah study. After marriage, when Torah directs him to seek sustenance, he must still set times for study and they must be clearly established times.

There should additionally be a period of foundation setting for the future of his family — by devoting himself to Torah in a set fashion for a period of time after the wedding. This program should be similar to the “sitters” at the time of the Rebbe Maharash in Lubavitch.

If the foundation of married life will be based on Torah in this manner, then it will continue to influence their lives for many long and good years, spiritually and materially — in a manner of “going from above right from the outset,” as the Rebbe Maharash was wont to say. Torah and mitzvos transcend the usual restrictions.

Similarly, earning a livelihood will come without difficulty.

This approach may be related to the Torah portion of Nitzavim and Vayeilech.

Nitzavim symbolizes the firm position and strong stand of those who study Torah and serve G‑d in a set and continual way. All subsequent action — Vayeilech — is built on this foundation.

Every Jew has this potential — let him just wake from his slumber and he will see the opportunity.

In our daily Divine service we also accentuate this point. When we awake in the morning we proclaim “Modeh Ani Lefonecha Melech... — I offer thanks to You, living and Eternal King....” The full person (“I”) stands staunchly before the “King” and gives thanks and homage. Thus, he stands firm and then moves higher: Nitzavim and Vayeilech.

May you all accept the proper resolutions in all these matters, which will already make you eligible for reward, to be blessed with all manner of goodness, spiritual and material — children, life and sustenance, all in abundance, and the main blessing, the true and complete redemption, through our righteous Mashiach, in the down to earth reality, immediately, now!

* * *

4. Today is the last Shabbos of Elul and at the same time it extends blessing to Rosh Hashanah which indicates the aspect of beginning.

In the Torah portion this week there is a verse which mirrors these two aspects:

At the end (Mikeitz) of each seven years after the year of release (the first year of the next Shemitah cycle), at a fixed time on the festival of Sukkos. (Devarim 31:10)

On the one hand, the word “Mikeitz” means “at the end,” as we find Rashi explains in Bereishis. This meaning fits clearly with the first part of the verse here. Yet, the term must also mean beginning, as several commentaries have explained, that the verse is talking about the beginning of the new Shemitah cycle.

Although in the past the Rashi on this verse was thoroughly discussed, a question remains on the structure of the sentence itself.

The five-year-old Chumash student is troubled why the Torah uses a circumlocution to tell us that Hakhel takes place during Sukkos of the eighth year — why not say simply “on Sukkos of the eighth year.”

While it is true that the Gemara carefully weighed every word of the verse and brilliantly explained the precise reason for every word and nuance, this does not satisfy the five-year-old Chumash student, since the approach of the Gemara is to develop and clarify the Halachic rules from the verse. From the point of view of the simple meaning the question still stands: Why not state the facts simply and clearly: Hakhel is held on Sukkos of the eighth year!?

On several occasions it has been mentioned that the five-year-old Chumash student is patient, as well as sharp, in his studies of Chumash, and he does not present his question until the conclusion of a particular narration, section or subject. For, after all, it is possible that his initial difficulty will be cleared up later on in the section.

So, too, here we will see how Scripture goes on to reveal the nature of this mitzvah:

You must gather together the people, the men, women, children...let them hear it.... They will thus learn to be in awe of G‑d your L‑rd...their children, who do not know, will listen and learn to be in awe of G‑d your L‑rd. (Ibid.)

When he realizes the nature of the mitzvah, the five-year-old Chumash student also assumes that there must be a reason for setting the mitzvah of Hakhel during Sukkos of the eighth year. He therefore reasons that the language used by Torah to designate the time of Hakhel — also has in it a profound lesson concerning the meaning and timing of Hakhel.

Why should Hakhel take place on Sukkos of the eighth year? What is so special about that time? When the Torah indicates that during the last week of Moshe’s life he gathered the people and spoke to them words of admonishment, it makes sense; for it is proper to offer constructive criticism to your friends close to the time of passing away. It was logical then to gather all the people so that Moshe could give them Mussar (ethical chastisement). But what is special or unique about Sukkos of the eighth year which would warrant the gathering of all the Jewish people for Hakhel? By pondering this puzzle we come to realize the special meaning of the verse.

“At the end of each seven years.” This refers to the close of a complete cycle and the start of a new cycle, in other words, the first year of the new Shemitah cycle.

Since we are starting a new cycle it stands to reason that this is a most auspicious time for a spiritual awakening which will rejuvenate the observance of “all the words of this Torah.” In fact, it is absolutely necessary to generate this awakening. The five-year-old Chumash student knows that at such a time the right encouragement will be most effective. He knows that when the new semester began with a new teacher, etc., he also felt a new enthusiasm to study harder and better; which brought good results.

“After (in the time of) the year of release.” This means after the Shemitah year — but since some rules of Shemitah still apply concerning produce which lasts into the eighth year, it is still referred to as the Shemitah year. The significance is that during the Shemitah, fallow year, people were freed from agricultural work and were able to apply themselves to increased Torah study. At the end of such a year there is a very good expectation that the observance of Torah and mitzvos will be enhanced from this time onward.

“At a fixed time on the festival of Sukkos.” During the holiday people are free of mundane, weekday responsibilities. This is especially true during the holiday of Sukkos which comes after a period of concentrated involvement in mitzvos — the Sukkah, the four kinds; all this surely increased the readiness for a resurgence of zeal and diligence in guarding and observing all of the Torah.


“When all Israel comes to present themselves before G‑d your L‑rd in the place that He will choose.”

Now, all the particular terminologies of these verses snap into place and are illuminated. For we see how it follows that this is the appropriate time, for:

You must gather together the people...let them hear...learn to be in awe...carefully keeping all the words of this Torah. As long as you live in the land.

* * *

5. This week we complete the study cycle of Pirkei Avos by studying the fifth and sixth chapters. Chapter five begins:

The world was created by means of ten [Divine] utterances. (Avos 5:1)

In this mishnah there is a clear connection to Rosh Hashanah which is the birthday of the world. The Zohar tells us that “the Holy One, Blessed be He, looked into the Torah and created the world” in the manner indicated by the mishnah.

This would also explain the mishnah’s discussion:

What does this come to teach us, for in deed, it could have been created by one utterance? (Ibid.)

At first glance this question of the mishnah seems trivial; why should we be so concerned now with how many words G‑d used in creating the world?

However, when we realize that each year G‑d creates the world again and He looks to Torah again each time — it then becomes important at the present time to know how G‑d creates the world, for G‑d must decide, as it were, whether to create the world with one utterance or ten. The mishnah may now ask what the significance is of the ten utterances of creation.

The mishnah’s use of the term maamaros — utterances — and not dibburim — speech — is based on Scripture, where the verses describing the creation all start “Vayomer Elokim” and not “Vayedaber Elokim.”

At first glance it might seem that the term “Vayedaber” would be more appropriate. Being the term which is closer to action and connoting the harsher aspect of speech it would seem that the term “dibbur” more precisely indicates creation.

When we keep in mind the Midrashic statement that at first G‑d wanted to create the world solely with the attribute of severity, we have all the more reason to assume that the right term is “dibburim,” not “maamarim.”

The answer lies in the second part of the just-mentioned Midrash: G‑d saw that the world could not exist solely with the attribute of severity — and so He blended kindness and mercy with the severity. This fusion took place before creation began and as a result the creation began with the attribute of mercy, as we find in the verse:

On the day G‑d, the L‑rd, made heaven and earth. (Bereishis 2:4)

Clearly creation began with G‑d (mercy) first, and then Elokim (severity). Therefore, even those verses which begin “Vayomer Elokim” — using the Name denoting severity, start however with Vayomer — denoting soft words stemming from the attribute of mercy.

Our mishnah, likewise, emphasizes the attribute of mercy by telling us of the ten “maamaros.”

This same thought will apply to Rosh Hashanah — albeit the day of judgment, yet we dress in holiday finery and partake of sumptuous feasts, because we are certain and optimistic that G‑d will inscribe us for a good year. Even our teshuvah is done with the joy of love of G‑d. The tears too, are tears of joy — for the tears of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur effect wholesomeness and perfection in the soul of a Jew (see Pri Etz Chaim Shaar Hashofar, ch. 5).

At this gathering and in this joyous state it is appropriate to bless each of you with the blessing of “Kesivah VaChasimah Tovah” — may you be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year — spiritually and physically. With clear and obvious goodness in all your needs, children, life and abundant prosperity, everything in abundance, to the bursting of all limitations.

We should mention at least one blessing starting with each letter of the aleph-bais, which in turn includes all possible blessings. A year of light; a year of blessing; a year of rejoicing and a year of redemption; a year of exuberant joy; and a year of splendor; a year of good convocation; a year of great merits; a year of good and long life; a good year; a year of good promise; a year of prosperity; a year of learning; an uplifted year; a year of great miracles; a year of Heavenly assistance; a year of strength and glory; a year of salvation; a year of charity and a year of exultation; a year when we will hold our heads up high; a year of exaltations; a year of rejoicing and a year of happiness; a year of praise, a year of Torah, a year of teshuvah and prayer.

But most of all, a year of redemption, so that we may go immediately and dance to greet our righteous Mashiach.

* * *

At the close of the sixth chapter the Mishnah tells us:

All that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created in His world, He created solely for His glory.... The L‑rd shall reign forever and ever. (Avos 6:11)

Here, too, the mishnah deals with creation, specifically the day of Rosh Hashanah when man was created, as we see from the term “all,” this indicates the summation of creation — man. How is this first sentence connected to the first words: “The L‑rd shall reign....” The answer is that the true revelation of G‑d’s purpose for creation will be revealed mainly in the future world — which is hinted at in the verse “the L‑rd shall reign,” in the future, when the kingship shall be only His (see Rashi on Shmos 15:17).

And although the ultimate revelation will be in the future, nevertheless, since creation started with the attribute of mercy we also have in our power the potential to reveal G‑dliness in the world in these times. After all, creation started with “maamaros.”

* * *

6. Today’s Rambam section deals with the laws of the Red Heifer which brought purification to one who had come in contact with a corpse. When you touch a body which has lost its soul, you also lose a bit of your life-force and you must receive a new injection of spiritual animation, this was accomplished through the sprinkling of the water mixed with the ashes of the Red Heifer.

Rosh Hashanah also generates a new life-force to the world after the weakening of the spiritual life at the close of the year on Erev Rosh Hashanah.

Although the Red Heifer is included in the group of Torah statutes which are above human logic, nevertheless, the Rambam has advised us to always seek as much understanding as we can grasp, even in the “supralogical statutes of Torah.”

This is especially important when we wish to apply this understanding in a moralistic (rather than halachic) way.

A — At the beginning of chapter five the Rambam writes:

All who engage in the rite of the Red Heifer from the beginning until the end render garments tameh, and need to immerse themselves and await sunset. (Laws of the Red Heifer, 5:1)

This rule is illogical and perplexing, as our sages have noted, the nations of the world ridicule and censure us, “How can it be that the Red Heifer which brings taharah, ritual purity, to the tameh person will also confer tumah (ritual impurity) on the tahor person?!”

B — Intermittent waters are invalid.... Even if they become dry but once in seven years they are invalid. (Ibid. 6:12)

This is because they are no longer considered “living waters.”

C — The water into which the Red Heifer’s ashes are cast may be drawn only in a vessel. (Ibid. 6:1)

The reason for this is the Biblical injunction that the water must be placed in a vessel and then the ashes are to be added.

The purpose of the vessel is symbolic of system and order. Every supernal revelation and benevolence from above must be “clothed” in an appropriate vessel to bring it into the reality of the world. The renewal of creation on Rosh Hashanah is a prime example of this principle, as well as the mitzvah of shofar blowing, which must be done by a person in a certain prescribed manner. Every good thing must have its appropriate framework in the reality of the world in order to accomplish its task.

The importance of living, flowing water which never ceases personifies the need for continuity in a Jew’s Divine service. Even if it stops temporarily it is not absolute truth and life. In fact, a Jew’s Divine service must increase and go on from strength to strength.

And finally, what do we learn from the fact that the purifying water of the Red Heifer made others tameh?

There is a story of the Mitteler Rebbe which indicates that in order for a Rebbe to give an order of repentance to a baal teshuvah he must first find some connection in himself to that sin — only in a very abstract way of course — but he had to relate to the person when he was still in his sinful state in order to help him. Furthermore, he must feel the pain in the other person’s heart as if it had happened to him. This concept is exemplified in the law of the Red Heifer.

If you want to purify one who came in contact with the tumah of death, the purifier must have something in common with the one who seeks purification — and with his condition. Of course, not on so gross a level, G‑d forbid, for then he could not effect the purification at all — but in an aloof, abstract way there should be some commonalty. Therefore the purifier became tameh — till sunset only, so that he would feel his friend’s discomfort and help him.

This concept is touched upon in today’s Haftorah where we read:

In all their affliction He was afflicted. (Yeshayahu 62:9)

This means that G‑d Himself, as it were, feels the suffering of the Jewish people, so much so, that He, too, suffers!

This leads us to the subject of redemption. Since the Holy One, Blessed be He, empathizes and “suffers” in the afflictions of the Jewish galus, how can we allow G‑d to remain in a state of suffering, G‑d forbid, He most certainly will redeem the Jewish people.

If we see that the diaspora continues it must mean that there are still some sparks of holiness that need to be refined — so we must increase our involvement in raising the sparks to holiness.

When you add one mitzvah and add one berachah on a bit of water, that could be the one mitzvah which is needed to tip the scale in your benefit and bring salvation to the whole world.