1. All gatherings of Tzivos Hashem which take place during the year, in the same place and with a common purpose and goal, nevertheless have different “orders of the day,” based on the particular theme of the day when they occur.

What is the “order of the day” for Tzivos Hashem on this fourth day of the Holiday of Sukkos, in line with the Torah reading of this day?

The lessons of Torah are eternal and always apply, as we plainly see that the 12 verses and Torah passages which you have just recited are drawn from various sources in Torah, and yet they apply every day!

However, there are additional teachings to be gleaned from Torah each day, foreachday, as well as the “order of the day” for Tzivos Hashem.

Sukkos is called the Season of Our Rejoicing. The Alter Rebbe explains that the plural form “Our Rejoicing” refers to two joys: “The Jews should rejoice in their Maker,” (Tehillim 149:2) and “May the L‑rd delight in His works.” (Ibid 104:24)

The children of Tzivos Hashem must be living examples of how one should fulfill G‑d’s commandments. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, the Commander-In-Chief of Tzivos Hashem, bestows upon the small children the ability to bring back to G‑d the hearts of the adults:

He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children.... (Rashi: To G‑d, through the children) (Malachi 3:24)

Therefore, the children have the role of setting a good example, which must be accompanied by joy and enthusiasm. For:

G‑d stands over him and the whole world is full of His glory and He searches his mind and heart (to see) if he is serving Him as is fitting. (Tanya ch. 41)

When G‑d will see that the young child serves G‑d with joy there will be great joy on high. So there will be joy above and below. The power for this double joy comes from the Season of Our Rejoicing which represents the two aspects of Jewish joy and G‑dly joy.

This year the fourth day of Sukkos falls on the 18th of Tishrei (today) which adds life (18=chai=life) to the whole month. Chai Tishrei will also have a beneficial affect on the whole year, to give more life and happiness to the fulfillment of the role of the members of Tzivos Hashem.

In the fifth reading section of the portion Berachah which we study today we read of the blessings bestowed on the tribes of Dan, Naftali and Asher, all from the camp of Dan, which was called the “gatherer of the camps,” as Rashi explains: “If anyone lost anything they would return it.”

Normally, every Jew must strive to develop his love and fear of G‑d, which will enable him to serve G‑d properly, joyously and enthusiastically. But, what happens if sometimes the evil inclination — that foolish old king — comes along and confuses a Jew, and he loses some of his joy or enthusiasm for mitzvos?

For this reason the tribes of Dan, Naftali and Asher gathered what was “lost” and returned it to the rightful owners in the other tribes. They therefore merited to receive the blessings mentioned in today’s Chumash portion.

Members of Tzivos Hashem must impress upon others the importance of increased Torah observance, and in this manner they will help bring back some things which may have been lost!

When Tzivos Hashem makes a rally we are also gathering all the children together — from different families, different countries, etc. As we just saw, the children who recited the 12 verses were from various countries. All the children have gathered in one place and at one time, to strengthen the role of Tzivos Hashem, and to encourage each child to be a “gatherer” of tribes in his/her own place.

In the continuing blessing to these three tribes, and to the entire Jewish Nation the Torah further says:

Your locks will be iron and copper: ...Their mighty men used to dwell in the border cities and locked the country so that the enemy should not be able to invade it, as though it were closely shut by locks and bars of iron and copper. (Rashi, Devarim 33:25)

The Holy One, Blessed be He, protects each and every child of Tzivos Hashem from any evil, and especially from the evil inclination, who sees that he cannot succeed and therefore is completely nullified.

The Torah continues:

He controls the heavens and His majesty is in the skies. (Ibid. 33:26)

G‑d controls the heavens and gives you assistance. And so, you, too, should aspire to rise to the level of “heavens” — above worldliness.

Even when you are dealing with temporal objects you can draw down some heavenliness. So that when a Jew eats or drinks he must say a berachah first, which signifies that the good things come from G‑d.

May it be G‑d’s will that each of you accepts these good resolutions in all that we have spoken. Practice “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which is an important rule in Torah, and gather together other Jews and influence them to become faithful soldiers of Tzivos Hashem.

This will give G‑d more joy, as well as the Jewish people, the children and the parents. For we will all see young children doing G‑d’s will with joy, and bringing others to join Tzivos Hashem.

In this way we will merit G‑d’s blessing in body and spirit. G‑d created the world and programmed it to provide the reward for good deeds. By making these commitments, in this place of Torah, at this time, the role of Tzivos Hashem is guaranteed, and the “medals” and prizes which the Holy One, Blessed be He, gives to all the children of Tzivos Hashem, and their families, teachers and leaders will definitely be forthcoming, including the greatest prize and the greatest blessing of all, the ultimate redemption.

In today’s portion of Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos we study the commandment of the sanctity of the firstborn male humans and animals. The Torah says:

Consecrate to Me every firstborn...of man and of beast, (Shmos 13:2)


You must consecrate to G‑d every male firstborn among your cattle and flocks; (Devarim 15:19)

which the Sefer HaMitzvos explains:

..offer its fat and blood [on the altar], and eat what is left of its meat. (Positive Commandment 79)

In the negative commandments we also learned:

By this prohibition we are forbidden to eat an unblemished firstling outside Yerushalayim. It is contained in His words, “You may not eat within your gates...the firstling of your herd.” (Negative Commandment 144)

Even small children who do not have a “firstling” may still learn an important lesson from this mitzvah. A bechor — firstling — symbolizes everything that comes first. The first must be made holy. The simplest and most fundamental example is when you wake up, the first thing must be, to do a holy act. So you say immediately:

I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me.... (Siddur)

As soon as the soul returns, rested and fresh, its first words and thoughts are directed to the King of the universe, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

Similarly, we learn that just as the firstling had to be eaten in Yerushalayim the Holy City, so, too, when the child prays to G‑d in the morning his room and his house and all his surroundings must also be holy and consecrated like a Holy City.

When a child in Tzivos Hashem starts his day in this manner — the rest of the day will be proper and fitting for a soldier of Tzivos Hashem.

In the study section of Mishnah Torah for today we can also find a lesson that even a small child will understand. There the Rambam says:

[The authorized person] may inspect any firstling [to see if it has a blemish] except his own firstling. (Laws of Firstling 3:1)

Even young children can understand this important rule, that in matters of self-interest you cannot rely on your own decision for you might bribe yourself and not see the truth! So you must go to the impartial expert to judge the case.

For example, the yetzer hora may sometimes argue about some good tasty food, that it should not be checked out for Kashrus, and then, “Why say the blessing? — just grab it and eat it!”

So we must realize that if you have some personal desire for it then you are bribed in this respect, and you may not be so careful. Therefore in such a case do notrely on yourself, ask your teacher or leader, Rabbi or wise expert, whether it is permissible! The Rambam also teaches that a bechor which belongs to Jewish partners is also included in the rules of “firstlings.”

This teaches us that we must encourage and attract others to join us in making the “firsts” holy and similarly in all aspects of Torah and mitzvos.

At a gathering of Tzivos Hashem this point is more strongly emphasized, for you have gathered as “partners,” in unity. At this opportunity you must think of the others, who are not here and whose parents and teachers have not trained them to start the day with “Modeh Ani.” You must attract them and make them your partners in this mitzvah of dedicating the “firsts” to G‑d. This is done with Ahavas Yisrael.

And may G‑d grant that all the Jewish people will be partners in studying the Torah of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and in fulfilling His commandments and then we will be partners in all His blessings.

And especially the blessing of “A great company shall return here,” (Yirmeyahu 31:7)

with the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach and we will see the liberation of our youth and elders, sons and daughters.

In the Season of Our Rejoicing we should also increase happiness and enthusiasm and have a blessed year and a year of redemption which will come speedily and immediately.

As we do at all rallies, after praying Minchah and reciting the 12 verses of Torah, we will perform the mitzvah of tzedakah.

During the Season of Our Rejoicing it is important that we see to it that all our fellow Jews have the wherewithal to rejoice on the holiday. Through tzedakah, we can help these people, materially or spiritually, to celebrate the holiday with joy.

I will give each of you 3 coins, one for tzedakah, one for tzedakah connected to the holiday joy, and one to use as you wish. In your merit we will also give the grown-ups three coins through the “Tankists.”

May G‑d grant that through the three-fold cord of Torah, prayer and charity we will merit speedily to the Third Bais HaMikdash, the eternal edifice, and the eternal liberation and the eternal joy.

We will also conclude with joyous songs. And may we merit to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, in the capital city, Yerushalayim, where the Third Bais HaMikdash will be built, speedily and truly in our days, with gladness and joy.