1. When we gather for a rally of Tzivos Hashem on Pesach there is no need to seek a reason for the assembly.

Children play a vital role in the theme of the holiday of Pesach. Starting with the Seder itself, and then in reading the Haggadah, when the child asks questions, and continuing through the answers, we see the children taking center stage. The “Torah of Life” thus teaches us that when children see phenomena around them which they do not understand, or about which they have not yet learned, they should question forthwith: “Why are we doing this?” or, “What is the meaning of this?”

Just as their parents, educators and teachers explained the meaning of the Seder and how it is related to Jewish life, and answered all their questions in the Haggadah so, too, they will also explain how all their experiences are related to Yiddishkeit.

Then the children will conduct themselves in the proper manner and they will be living examples for others to learn how a Jew must live, according to Torah. This has certainly taken place since your last Tzivos Hashem assembly. Such conduct will strengthen your association with the theme of Pesach, other aspects of Yiddishkeit and the Jewish people.

There is another reason why it should be superfluous to explain our gathering today. Every day we mention in our prayers “commemorating the Exodus from Egypt.” If so, when the holiday of true Exodus comes around it is obvious that now the opportunity presents itself to gather the children, who must ask the questions, and emphasize how this applies every day at all times.

Moreover, the Haggadah tells us not only of the existence of the “wise son,” but also (sad to say), of the “simple son,” the “one who does not know how to ask” and even the “wicked son” — (Heaven forbid).

How can this be?

Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, created the “yetzer tov” the “good inclination,” there is also the “yetzer hora,” the “evil prompter,” who must be constantly watched. You must not allow the yetzer hora to give you “ideas” how to act, you must drive it away, so that nothing remains, and then devote yourself to serve G‑d properly. This is symbolic of burning the chametz, so that nothing is left to be seen or found, and then to eat matzah.

A child is to be trained; “Educate a child according to his way” (Mishlei 22:6), to regularly chase away the yetzer hora — this is the role of the organization called Tzivos Hashem — and the child must carry this out in all his/her actions. For example, when a child is hungry and thirsty and wishes to eat or drink, he/she must first check whether the food is kosher, is there any non-kosher ingredient in the food? May it be eaten on Pesach? Is there any chametz in the food? In this way the child drives away the yetzer hora — symbolic of “burning the chametz” and turning away from evil.

Next, the child must enhance the power of the yetzer tov to “do good.” How? By asking what is the proper blessing for the food and whether he must wash his hands before partaking of the food.

The “Order of the Day” which we learn from Pesach for the whole year is to fulfill the “commemorating the Exodus from Egypt”; all year you should remember your action of burning the chametz before Pesach — destroying the evil and then making the day holy with blessings, eating matzah and all the positive actions. This will cause a strengthening of the yetzer tov.

Matzah is called “food of faith” and it was the faith of the Jewish people which brought them out of Egypt. When this faith infuses all the actions of the child all year round — then the child fulfills the mitzvah of remembering the Exodus.

The Torah teaches us “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This means that every child should teach this lesson of Pesach, boys to boys and girls to girls, to do away with the evil and strengthen the good.

By fulfilling the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael you will also find that all mitzvos are easier to perform, for “one mitzvah brings along another”; especially the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisrael which, as Rabbi Akiva taught us, is a “Basic Principle of the Torah.” Therefore, Ahavas Yisrael enhances all aspects of Torah study and observance of all the mitzvos with great success.

During the holiday we should do all this with greater joy — a double joy: the joy of the Jewish people: “The Jews should rejoice in their Maker” (Tanya ch. 33). This is the joy of the Jew who is involved in Yiddishkeit and then, too, the joy of the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who is overjoyed with the conduct of those children who have been properly educated in this manner.

Since “joy bursts through restrictions,” this joy will speed the breaking of the galus and then we will see the miracles of redemption with the ultimate and true salvation through our righteous Mashiach speedily in our days.

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2. Every day of the holiday of Pesach has a different Torah reading and we should garner a lesson from today’s Torah reading:

When you lend money (lit. if you have money, lend it) to My people, to the poor man among you.... (Shmos 22:24)

In addition to the general precept of loving a fellow Jew, the Torah also commands every Jew to extend a helping hand to a fellow Jew in any area that he may be needy. Therefore, if a Jew possesses some property, e.g. knowledge of Torah, or actual money, and he knows that another Jew needs a loan, then the Torah commands it and it is the “order of the day”: “If you have money” or some other possession don’t keep it for yourself, rather “lend it to My people” — any other Jew.

If we contemplate this verse for a moment it will appear a bit strange — since the verse goes on to say “to the poor person,” why does it start off by saying “lend money to My people”?

The explanation is that when a Jew fulfills this commandment of lending money to a fellow Jew he becomes part of G‑dsnation, “My people.” But even more than that, he unites himself with the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself.

Imagine the excitement of a soldier in Tzivos Hashem — G‑d’s army — when he hears that if he will lend something to his friend then the Commander-In-Chief will draw him close to Himself and tell him “you are united with My people” (“You are united with Me”). [The literal trans. of the words “es ami” is: “with My people” or “with Me.”] This will motivate him to help his friend and to do all the good deeds that the Commander-In-Chief requests with the greatest of happiness and pleasure.

The first psalm of the section of Tehillim which we recite today is “A prayer of Moshe the man of G‑d” (Tehillim 90:1), which concludes with the verse:

And let the beauty of the L‑rd our G‑d be upon us: and establish the work of our hands upon us. O prosper it, the work of our hands. (Ibid.:17)

Moshe, our teacher who led the Jewish people out of Egypt reminds each and every Jew, even the small child, that G‑d will “establish the work of our hands.” Any action which a Jew does is not haphazard, or insignificant, or just coincidental, in which case it would really make no difference whether our actions were motivated by the yetzer tov or yetzer hora (G‑d forbid), or perhaps even if it were not done at all. The truth is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, is interested in every act a Jew does and establishes and sets all our actions, including the acts of a young child.

This prayer was Moshe’s prayer, which G‑d surely will fulfill, especially when it is repeated by all Jews, as we say: “O prosper it, the work of our hands.” Then G‑d truly strengthens and establishes every good act a Jew does, for goodness and blessing in a propitious and good time.

This is the “Order of the Day,” to be carried on throughout the coming year, in a constant manner, just as the precept of lending money is always applicable, to be carried out always with joy and great enthusiasm. This must also influence all the surroundings.

In the study of Sefer HaMitzvos — The Commandments — today we study two mitzvos. The first deals with the precept to remember the holiday of Shavuos, the Season of the Giving of our Torah. After leaving Egypt the Jewish people came to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah.

When you bring the people out of Egypt, all of you will then worship G‑d on this mountain (lit. become G‑d’s servants — by receiving the Torah). (Shmos 3:12)

The mitzvah of Shavuos once again stresses the theme of the holiday of Pesach and the Exodus out of Egypt. Remember, the Exodus was not only a physical deliverance out of bondage and slavery, it was also deliverance out of the clutches of the yetzer hora, which is destroyed when we burn the chametz.

It is important that we have reminders about the meaning of Pesach and the purpose of the Exodus. You see, the yetzer hora uses all sorts of tricks and puts on all kinds of disguises. He argues that he does not want to entice you to do a sin, only to bend the rules a bit. Since you are very hungry, why not grab some food without saying a berachah. If you must buy something — why not take (steal) your friend’s money instead of borrowing it from him. So it is always important to remember that the goal of the Exodus was to receive the Torah: which is what the mitzvah of Shavuos tells us in the positive way, do good — the mitzvos connected to the holiday, and the negative way — turn away from evil: don’t do what is prohibited.

The second mitzvah we learn today is the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. This connection teaches us that the theme of Pesach must be treated like the theme of Rosh Hashanah and influence your actions all through the year. Just as the holiday of Rosh Hashanah has do’s and don’ts — so does every day of the year; be careful to do what is required and refrain from what is prohibited.

So, when we fulfill mitzvos with joy and enthusiasm and we study the Torah which was given on Shavuos and remember that we are under the command of the Commander-In-Chief, whose coronation took place on Rosh Hashanah, then we will speed the fulfillment of the promise “And kingship will be the L‑rd’s” (Ovadiah 1:21), and all the nations of the world will see that G‑d is King and Commander-In-Chief of the whole world, all the peoples and all things, as you just recited:

In the beginning G‑d created heaven and earth. (Bereishis 1:1)

Extra zeal is added when you study the Torah sections and contemplate their content and context.

As we speak of soldiers, it must be carried out with absolute submissiveness to the good and complete abstention from evil and then we will merit that: “The kingship will be the L‑rd’s,” speedily and truly in our time.

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3. This rally which takes place today has an additional unique aspect, as we began reciting the clause “and bestow blessing” (V’sain Berachah) in the weekday Amidah (Shemoneh Esreh).

What different “Order of the Day” do we have when we say “V’sain Berachah,” as compared to the days on which we say “Bestow dew and rain for blessing.”

The answer should be obvious.

We ask the Holy One, Blessed be He, to give us rain and dew so that afterwards we will have a blessing — for the rain will water the earth, the grain will grow, the fruit will bloom and then we will have food and a good and blessed year.

When we ask G‑d “and bestow blessing” we are asking the Holy One, Blessed be He, for His blessing to come to us directly, without any preparatory stages. In this format we do not have to wait till the rain waters the earth and then we have to plow, sow, reap and do all the other labors, till the baking and cooking, in order to benefit from G‑d’s blessings.

These two forms of blessing also exist in your daily life.

When you come home from school, tired after a long day of studying Torah and observing mitzvos — your mother is pleased to see you and satisfied with your behavior. She might tell you that she has prepared whatever is necessary for your meal, she will give you the key to the room where the tasty food is, she will also show you how to prepare water for “tea,” how to add sugar to make it tasty, etc., but you must do everything on your own!

But, there is another way.

Your mother could prepare all the food on the table and set the table for you, so that you may sit down and eat without any preparations on your part.

In your spiritual life — in receiving reward from the Holy One, Blessed be He, for good behavior — the same will also be true, there are two ways of receiving G‑d’s blessings.

When your conduct is good and you are worthy of G‑d’s blessings — but it could have been better — then you receive your reward in a manner similar to the dew and rain, where your labor (plowing and sowing) will still be necessary to benefit from G‑d’s blessings — the rain.

When, however, you study even more Torah and observe mitzvos with even more zeal and beauty and you increase your Ahavas Yisrael — when boys reach out and teach other boys and the girls help other girls — then G‑d’s blessings will be revealed, great and complete. It will be immediately available without any toil or labor, in a manner of “and bestow blessing” — directly and completely.

On this day, when we begin again to recite “V’sain Berachah,” we are asking every Jew to act in a manner so that he will receive G‑d’s blessings without additional work or bother — and it will immediately be obvious that it is G‑d’s blessings. And then we will merit to receive all of G‑d’s blessings in a good and revealed way, materially and spiritually, with proper health and success — also in Torah and mitzvos.

This will also bring good relations with your parents, for when they see their children conducting themselves in a manner which brings G‑d’s blessings in a direct manner this will make them happy.

We speak of Jewish children who increase their Torah and mitzvos and help other children and bring Jewish unity; these children influence their parents, teachers and counselors to increase their level of observance.

This brings true unity — youth and elders, sons and daughters, and perfection in Torah and mitzvos on the level of “V’sain Berachah.”

Then we will merit the true and complete redemption and go to our complete Holy Land with the leadership of our righteous Mashiach, with joy and happiness and gladness of hearts — speedily and truly in our time.

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4. While speaking of “V’sain Berachah” I wish to take this opportunity to express my deepfelt thanks and appreciation to all those who sent me greetings on the occasion of my birthday and the holiday of Pesach.

It would be impossible to respond to each person individually, therefore let this be accepted as if I had answered everyone individually.

It is propitious that this feeling is expressed in a house of prayer and Torah study — a holy and sanctified place — and that it is on a special day, Chol HaMoed Pesach, the holiday of Exodus and in a setting where thousands of Jews are gathered.

The thanks and good wishes at such a time are much stronger and more potent. This is the holiday which removed the restrictions and oppressions of the exile and so, may all the blessings be without limit, in merit of the place and time and occasion.

As our sages have taught, one who blesses another Jew is himself blessed by the Holy One, Blessed be He, and certainly G‑d’s blessings are beyond the blessings of mortals. May all these blessings be revealed and recognized from the full, open, holy and abundant hand of G‑d and, as it says in the Siddur of the Baal Shem Tov, from G‑d’s overflowing hand, beyond all measure.

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We will conclude the rally as is our custom with the third pillar of tzedakah. Each child will be given several coins — and in their merit the adults will also receive coins — one coin is to be donated to tzedakah and the rest may be used as you wish.

In the merit of the pillars of Torah, prayer and acts of lovingkindness may G‑d grant us the Third Beis HaMikdash with the third redemption and the complete land, the complete nation and complete Torah, and may it be in the manner of a three-ply cord, the blessing of our father Yaakov, the third father: “ and spread out to the west, the east, the north and the south” — an infinite inheritance — speedily and truly in our days.