1. It is our custom to gather together one more time before taking leave from one another. The purpose: to emphasize and magnify the theme of unity that truly exists among us all; with the hope that this unity will carry on even after we have parted. Physically there may be separation and dispersion, but spiritually and soulfully we are always united.

In fact, this dispersion, with each person returning to his/her place will actually add to the theme of unity.

All Jews are part of one nation, the Jewish people, and the theme of unity actually personifies the inner nature of the Jewish people. For the initial formation of the Jewish nation took place at Matan Torah when the Jews stood as “one man with one mind.”

At that time the Jewish people comprised some 600,000 people (men aged 20-60, plus children, women and elderly) as well as all the Jewish souls till the end of time — quite an array of individuals; there must have been many divisions among them. Yet, they were “as one man with one mind.” Just as one man is composed of 248 organs and 365 arteries and nerves — with as many spiritual counterparts — all of these different components make up one person, so too, all the different individuals made up one Jewish nation. And at Matan Torah the Jewish nation attained similar unanimity and unison. By receiving the “One Torah” from “One G‑d” the essence of the Jewish people crystallized into one unified entity “as one man with one mind.”

This unity is not only true of the inherent essence of the Jewish people, but also, when they go out into the world they are also seen as “one nation in the land,” a unified people. Even then, in the materialistic world, their conduct conforms to the directives of the Holy One, Blessed be He, the One G‑d.

While it is true that historically the involvement in the mundane world entailed much diversification, starting with entering Eretz Yisrael to settle the land, and the subsequent diversification of their occupations; [those who tilled the soil, others who were involved in business, while still others devoted their time to Torah study] nevertheless, the attachment to One G‑d and One Torah forged the Jewish people into One nation. For this reason even when Jews are dispersed in the land, they are endowed with the potential to bring unity in the land.

It is the mission and goal of a Jew to reveal and extend unity into the world. “One nation in the land,” means that everywhere, at all times, and in every detail, the Jew can uncover that inner focal point of all existence, which couples with the unity of the Holy One, Blessed be He. How? “I was created to serve my Maker,” to do the will of our Heavenly Father. This is expressed when your activities are guided by the principle, that “All your actions shall be for the sake of heaven” and “Know G‑d in all your ways.”

You see discord and multifariousness?! That is only superficial! The inner soul of everything, its goal and purpose, is to do G‑d’s will — one solitary theme — all other forces and entities are secondary, and hence, insignificant, relative to the observance of G‑d’s will. But, even moreso, when you concentrate on that essential focal point you then bring symphony to all the divergent forces, they all work together to create a dwelling place for G‑d in the lower world.

The home of a person is the place where his true reality is revealed and even if he should be away from home, then his thoughts drift back to his home, where he will find respite and comfort. Similarly, a Jew has the ability to make G‑d’s “home” in this world. In every aspect of a Jew’s thought, speech and deed he can create a dwelling place that G‑d will consider His, and then “I will dwell among them.” The most intense and concentrated form of this indwelling was effected in the Beis HaMikdash, in the Holy of Holies, as it is written,

And I will meet with you at set times...from above the ark cover...on the Ark of Testimony. (Shmos 25:22)

But the Jew still has the potential to make the dwelling place not only in the house of prayer or study, but also in the materialistic world on a plain weekday. If he is but so determined, the Jew can cause the Shechinah to come and dwell in his soul, his body and his precincts just as it was manifest in the Holy of Holies.

Of course, the Divine service of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy of Holies cannot be compared to his Divine service in his worldly affairs in the public domain. Yet, since G‑d only expects us to function within the powers given to us, when a Jew is sent to a particular place — and “man’s steps are set by G‑d” (Tehillim 37:23) — he is given the power to effect a mini-sanctuary there, with joy and gladness and a degree of perfection, analogous to the function of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur!

This is the destiny of every Jew. “The world was created for my sake” (Sanhedrin 37a), so that he has the ability to effect the goal of creation for the whole world — just as the Kohen Gadol was alone — but represented all the people.

The focus of a Jew’s activities clearly must be unity, to reveal the underlying unity of the Holy One, Blessed be He: “G‑d is One” and alone in the world. And it is G‑d’s will that this be carried out in the length and breadth of the land, and of the globe.

Coming together from distant points on the globe accentuates this mission, and having spent time together, we gather before taking leave, to return home and continue the mission. At this point it is clear that the ensuing separation is only in a physical sense. The soul? Quite to the contrary, the dispersal underlines the goal of “one nation in the land.” The differences in time and space do not cause dissension — rather, they engender cooperation and cohesiveness, the theme of “as one man with one mind,” which created the basis for receiving the one Torah, which brings peace (unity) in the world.

As we gather in a place of communal prayer and study where Jews are united as one communal entity it enhances the unity.

Our custom of giving “Shlichus Mitzvah” (Mitzvah-messenger money) to all, to be distributed in their hometowns, also unites everyone in one mitzvah, especially as the mitzvah of tzedakah also unites the benefactor and recipient.

We therefore have unity in the three areas of Torah, prayer and charity.

This unity will continue when everyone will carry out his/her mission to make the world a dwelling place for G‑dliness.

And then we will merit the blessing of the Holy One, Blessed be He, for G‑d’s blessing will be revealed in His “dwelling place.”

As it is written:

If you follow My laws and are careful to keep My commandments...I will provide you with rain at the right time...and lead you forth with your heads held high. (Vayikra 26:3,4,13)

And the main blessing will be the building of the Sanctuary, the Third Beis HaMikdash, may it be built speedily in our times by our righteous Mashiach.

* * *

In addition to the general theme of gathering prior to leave-taking we may also glean a lesson from specific aspects of this gathering. Being Tuesday, today has the double blessing of “it was good” — “good for heaven and good for man.” The intention of this adage is that every moment of the day has the double blessing which unites “heaven” and “man.” Thus, with G‑d’s power we create a three-ply cord, combining heaven and man under the providence of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

This lesson must be carried with us, that it is our duty and mission to unite heaven and earth so that both will benefit, for then we will draw down the true good.

In the third reading section of Pinchas corresponding to this day, the Torah speaks of the preparations for crossing into the land of Canaan and settling on the land as an eternal inheritance for the Jewish people.

In dividing the land to be inherited by the tribal families the Torah tells us:

To a large group you shall give a larger inheritance, while to a smaller group you shall give a smaller inheritance. Each one shall thus be given his hereditary property according to its tally. (Bamidbar 26:54)

This seems quite logical and just. Yet at the same time the Torah goes on to say:

However, hereditary property shall be granted to paternal families through a lottery system. (Ibid.:55)

Here we have a system completely beyond reason, simply to rely on the Divine choice of the lottery.

Its moral lesson for us is that the Jew must effect a fusion of nature and the supernatural. Follow a path of conformity with the rules of nature and at the same time reveal that nature itself in supernatural. Its source is G‑dliness and its existence is just as miraculous as the supernatural.

Thus, when a Jew lives according to the laws of nature he must incorporate his faith in G‑d with his reliance on nature, as the Talmud Yerushalmi states: “He trusts in the Lifegiver of the world, and he plants his seed.” In dividing the land He gives the larger portion to the larger tribes, and yet he relies on the Divine hand in the lottery to make that final decision.

A Jew’s essence must be bound to G‑d, the master of the lottery, and it is the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who takes an interest in every Jew to give each one his/her proper share in the Holy Land. The Jew for his part must study Torah and make the world a fitting abode for G‑d.

Turning to today’s Rambam section we find a lesson from the subject of Maaser Sheni (second tithe), that although the produce set aside as Maaser Sheni is designated as holy, and may be eaten only in Yerushalayim the Holy City, yet it is plain food that is being eaten and through which this mitzvah is fulfilled. Moreover, the Torah actually takes all possibilities into account and permits us to exchange the voluminous produce for money — so that the money may easily be carried to Yerushalayim, there to purchase produce and fulfill the mitzvah of eating the Maaser Sheni.

The Rambam further teaches that once we have purchased produce with that Maaser Sheni money we may not exchange it again for money. In other words, the Torah allows us to bring holiness into the mundane in order to ease requirements for conforming to the mitzvah — so we may exchange the Maaser Sheni produce for money, but we may not lower it one more level by a secondary exchange after we bought fruit with that money.

We must now physically take these products to Yerushalayim, and when the Torah says we must, then we definitely can.

One must be healthy to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos, he must have proper food, proper sleep, etc. In addition, G‑d gives His blessing for children, life, and sustenance in abundance — although the abundance may be secondary — yet it is G‑d’s gift to us, and as such it should be used to carry out G‑d’s will and not allow the physical need to fall to a lower state of materialism — rather to serve G‑d and dedicate all your actions for the sake of heaven.

Tonight is also the 15th of Tammuz when the moon reaches its full state. This means that the month of Tammuz — the month of liberation for the Previous Rebbe, reaches its fullness.

The Jewish people are compared to the moon, for they realize that their power comes not from themselves but from the Holy One, Blessed be He. This state of humility and self-nullification before G‑d, gives them a quality and certain power, for “the servant of the king is like the king,” so they take this strength and illuminate the world — heaven and earth. Thus, the fullness of the moon represents the perfect level of Divine service of the Jewish people.

During Tammuz this adds strength to all activities done as emissaries of the Previous Rebbe throughout the year till next Yud-Beis Tammuz.

This year we enter the 107th year from the birth of the Previous Rebbe and we begin reciting Psalm 107 of Tehillim:

Give thanks to the L‑rd for He is good, for His kindness is everlasting. So shall say those redeemed by the L‑rd, those whom He redeemed from the hand of the oppressor. (Tehillim 107:1-2)

This psalm emphasizes the connection with the 12-13th of Tammuz, and it is this liberation which acts as a preface for the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach.

In the three areas of Divine service, Torah, prayer and good deeds, the prayer comes first, as we see that the Shulchan Aruch rules that we begin the day with worship, then Torah and only afterwards worldly matters and noble deeds.

We especially value the prayer of the righteous, and even after their passing, we see the tzaddikim as standing before G‑d beseeching mercy for their flocks.

Many of you have submitted letters to me with requests or prayers, and it has been impossible for me to answer each person individually and to acknowledge that his/her letter has been received. I therefore would like to take this opportunity to announce publicly, to all those who submitted letters, that the prayer letters were received and at the appropriate time they will be read at the graveside of the Previous Rebbe. And as he stands even now in prayer for us, certainly his prayers will be answered by G‑d Who will bless us from His “full, open, holy and bountiful hand!”

We, of course, must make ourselves proper vessels for G‑d’s blessings: the Holy of Holies in our hearts, the dwelling place for the Shechinah in our homes; which brings all the blessing of G‑d with it.

But there is another aspect — in a more general aspect there must be the Sanctuary of a public house for G‑d, a synagogue or house of study, where the blessings of G‑d can radiate even more intensely and quickly. Concerning this idea I have spoken and requested that more edifices be established — Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch — or Beis Chabad (Chabad House) — in short. In those cities where a Beis Chabad already stands expansion should be undertaken.

Today, in Eretz Yisrael they are celebrating the Chanukas HaBayis (inauguration) of the “Beis Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch,” in Kfar Chabad, which was founded by the Previous Rebbe. They have built a building which externally looks like the building in which the Previous Rebbe lived during the last ten years of his life — the closing period of his life in this world. This building also has the number “770,” the numerical value of FORATZTO.

More important, will be the spirit, spirituality and action directives which will emanate from that building, the “770” of Kfar Chabad, just as they emanate from “770” here.

May the teachings and mission of the Previous Rebbe be directed from that building and create a dwelling place for G‑d in the world there, and in all the Chabad Houses and in all the world.

May all this speed the promise:

O let us behold Your lovingkindness, O, L‑rd, and Your salvation, O grant it to us, (Tehillim 85:8)

the true salvation with the Third Beis HaMikdash, when we will all leave the galus with our youth and elders, sons and daughters with true unity as a great community, returning to our Holy Land with peace in the land, so that we will walk with our heads held high.

* * *

This will also engender the fulfillment of the promise that G‑d will give us the complete land as the Torah promises. It should be noted that the Jewish women loved the land very much, which was the reason that Tzelophchad’s daughters came to ask for a share of the inheritance in Eretz Yisrael. And as the Torah tells us, their argument was just, and they did receive their just portion of Eretz Yisrael.

Jewish women in every generation must make a firm and determined demand of the Nasi of the generation, that she/they want to have a share in Eretz Yisrael; as a preparation she converts her home to be a “section of the land” — a dwelling place where G‑d says “I will dwell among them.”

The women today should present a letter of Pidyon (prayer for salvation) to the Previous Rebbe, that they want and demand a part of the land.

The Nasi will answer that he must present their demands before G‑d and the Holy One, Blessed be He, will answer — just as He did then — that He accepts the request of the Jewish women and of the Jewish people (compared to the “Congregation of Israel,” the “betrothed” of G‑d).

And may we merit very soon to the future division of the land through our righteous Mashiach — speedily and truly in our days with a happy countenance, with children, life, sustenance — with joy and gladness of heart.

At this time we will conclude with tzedakah, which “brings the redemption closer.”

And may we merit speedily to the true and complete redemption, that Pinchas, who is Eliyahu, will herald Mashiach — “The voice of the herald proclaims good tiding” (Siddur).

And we will proceed to greet Mashiach, “a King from the House of Dovid who occupies himself in Torah and observance of mitzvos as did his ancestor Dovid...and he will prevail upon the Jewish people to walk in the ways of Torah and repair its breaches.” (Rambam, Laws of Kings 11:4)

This was the mission of the Nasi of our generation, for he taught everyone the importance of making the dwelling place for G‑d in the lower world.

We will then merit “Yerushalayim is destined to expand over all Eretz Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael will expand all over the world” (Sifrei, Devarim).

With the coming of our righteous Mashiach and truly in our time, amen so may it be.

2. May G‑d bless you and grant you success in all your needs, together with your fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and all your families.

When the bar-mitzvah celebrant accepts upon himself to study Torah and observe the mitzvos, the Holy One, Blessed be He, assures him of all the blessings which will give him proper health and comfort, to be able to study and do mitzvos with joy and gladness of heart.

This increases the merit of the parents and family members who raised and trained the bar-mitzvah (and bas-mitzvah) as well as the teachers and counselors, for:

He who teaches the son of his neighbor Torah, Scripture ascribes it to him as if he had begotten him. (Sanhedrin 19b)

The blessings will be bestowed on all concerned so that they will be able to increase their Torah and mitzvos starting with the first mitzvah of the Torah.

Be fertile and become many. Fill the land and conquer it. (Bereishis 1:28)

To raise their children and to educate them so that wherever they go they will conquer the world by showing the rule of the Holy One, Blessed be He.

Happy is their lot, great is the merit, of those who carry out their mission and make the world a dwelling place for the Shechinah. Certainly, they also set a good example for others to emulate and also raise their children in the proper way.

In connection with the days of liberation the 12-13 of Tammuz the Previous Rebbe wrote:

Not me alone did the Holy One, Blessed be He, liberate...but also all those who cherish our Holy Torah, who observe mitzvos and [even] those [who are only] called by the name “Jew.” (Letters of Rabbi J. I. Schneersohn, vol. 2, p. 80)

This has a direct bearing on the young boys who became bar-mitzvah. At the age of thirteen the G‑dly soul of a Jew reaches its full power and potential, thereby freeing the child from the overpowering influence of the yetzer hora and the corporeality of the gross material world. Just as Matan Torah gave the ultimate freedom to the Jewish people, as the Mishnah says:

Engraved on the tablets. Do not read “charus” (engraved) but “cheirus” (freedom) for there is no free man except one who occupies himself with the study of Torah. (Avos 6:2)

His personal freedom will be even greater when he also influences others to follow his good example.

The Previous Rebbe goes on in his letter to refer to a Chassidic discourse, “Ten who sit and study Torah.” This too is connected with a bar-mitzvah for it is when a boy reaches 13 that he may be counted as part of the minyan — to complete a “holy congregation.” Adding another faithful Jew will also bring the redemption closer, especially when he is careful to be a good example and influence others likewise.

In the census of the portion of Pinchas we see that every Jew counts, no matter what his status. Likewise when the Holy Land was divided it was done by lottery, which again shows the equality and preciousness of every single Jew. This must affect all aspects of our down-to-earth actions.

It has become a custom for the bar-mitzvah boy to donate charity on his bar-mitzvah day and it is also praiseworthy for his parents and relatives to do likewise in his merit.

Tzedakah is a mitzvah which openly is tied to the spiritual as well as the physical, and it is equal to all the other mitzvos. Thus, it engenders G‑d blessings, materially and spiritually, for the bar-mitzvah boys — bas-mitzvah girls — their parents and families, teachers and counselors — with all the blessing mentioned earlier for all of Israel including the ultimate blessing — the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach.

I will conclude by giving each of you a dollar bill and appointing you agents of a mitzvah to give the equivalent plus some more of your own to charity.

May this bring the redemption closer and “a great company shall return here” with our righteous Mashiach — first the good tidings of Eliyahu and then the coming of our righteous Mashiach, may he come and redeem us, and lead us walking with our heads held high to our Holy Land speedily and truly in our days.

3. May the Holy One, Blessed be He, grant you success, that all the preparations for your weddings will be in the spirit of the Torah, Yiddishkeit and Chassidus. And may every wedding take place in a good and auspicious time. May it be an everlasting edifice based on the foundations of Torah and mitzvos. May you be blessed with sons and daughters who will be occupied with Torah and mitzvos; may you be blessed with abundant prosperity, and all this with joy and gladness of hearts.

During the preparation period you should increase all aspects of Yiddishkeit with joy and glad hearts, then all of G‑d’s blessings will be increased. Including and especially the blessings associated with the wedding, the preparations for the wedding, the seven days of celebration, and all the days of your life. May your days and years be blessed materially and spiritually.

In order to add to all this it is appropriate and proper to resolve to carry out the good custom that on the wedding day, before the chupah and better still, in the morning, the groom and bride should donate money to charity. This should be given in honor of, and for the merit of, the increased success on the day of the wedding. May it continue for all the days and years afterwards. The parents and relatives should also act likewise.

May all these good practices speed the wedding of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the congregation of Israel as the Midrash states:

This world is like the Betrothal...the actual marriage ceremony will take place in the Messianic days.... (Shmos Rabbah 15:31)

With the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach. This will come about through increased Torah and mitzvos but especially through marriages.

* * *

The concept of Jewish marriage is analogous to the general theme of Matan Torah, as our sages tell us that one who brings joy to a groom will merit the reward of Torah which was given with “five voices.” The purpose of marriage is to fulfill the first mitzvah of the Torah, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Being first also indicates its primary importance: to establish a Jewish home, an everlasting edifice, which will be a “mini- sanctuary” of which the Holy One, Blessed be He, will say “I will dwell among them.” It should be a Jewish home, of Torah and Chassidus, a home from which light will emanate to all Jews in the neighborhood — even those who are only called “Jews,” as the Previous Rebbe notes in his letter about Yud-Beis Tammuz.

May all this speed the coming redemption, so that the coming period of the “three weeks” will be converted to days of happiness and rejoicing — truly this year!

The first step of redemption will come with the immense joy of groom and bride which will effect, “fill the land and conquer it,” the Holy Land, and may all the blessings be fulfilled. May you all attend the weddings with joy, and then go out to greet our righteous Mashiach.

I will participate in your mitzvah of charity by giving each of you a dollar bill and appointing you “agents of a mitzvah.” And you should increase the amount to charity. And may you speed up the true and complete redemption, as described in the marriage blessings:

Let there be speedily heard in the cities of Yehudah and the streets of Yerushalayim the sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the sound of a groom and the sound of a bride. (Siddur)

Speedily and truly in our days and in our time.