1. The Rambam writes that man is by nature a social being and desires the company of other people. If this is true about humanity in general, it surely applies in regard to the Jewish people. The legacy which we have received from the Patriarchs and Matriarchs and the Torah which we received from G‑d further intensify this natural urge.

The above applies even from the perspective of the body. From the standpoint of the soul, each Jew is “a part of G‑d from above.” “The soul is of primary importance and the body, secondary.” Hence, “all Jews are brothers because of their [common] source in the one G‑d.”

Thus, it is natural for each Jew to desire and to do whatever possible, to allow him to be together with other Jews. Even though he also lives among Jews, he would naturally desire to spend time in a place where there are even more Jews, where, to borrow a phrase from Proverbs, there are “a multitude of people.”

Throughout Jewish history, the Jews were scattered throughout the world, and therefore, adopted different customs, habits, dress, etc. Nevertheless, there was always a strong inner desire for Jewish unity and for sharing the company of other Jews.

The above surely applies in a festive season or at times when many Jews assemble in connection with matters of Torah and mitzvos. Then, the inner drive to be together with other Jews is strengthened and intensified. Furthermore, if one has already joined together with others, it is difficult to part one from the other.

Nevertheless, when, for various reasons, Jews who have spent a period of time together must separate, it must be clear that it is only their bodies that are separating. From the standpoint of the soul, which is of primary importance, we are always at one with G‑d, and thus, always at one with the entire Jewish people wherever they are to be found.

Before your journey home, you prayed together, studied together, and even carried out everyday conversation with many Jews here. In contrast, afterwards, each one will be found in a separate place, geographically apart. Nevertheless, the unity among us should not be weakened. Your journey will not affect that oneness.

In every place, Jews are united with G‑d and with Torah. “G‑d is one and His Torah is one.” Even though you will be in different countries and cities, you are still bound with ties of love to all the Jews with whom you shared this period, as Torah commands: “Love your fellowman as yourself.” Furthermore, that command implies that we should feel an inner love to every Jew, even to an individual in a far-off corner of the world whom we have never seen or heard of, for, in truth, all Jews are one complete organism.

The above is of unique significance when the time-period which we spent together is associated with the Previous Rebbe’s festival of redemption. One of the Chassidic discourses recited by the Previous Rebbe after his redemption explains the concept of a descent undergone with the intention that it be followed by an ascent.

That concept can be applied in regard to your journey home. On one hand, it is a descent in regard to the previous state of oneness we shared together. However, its intent must be that we come to a higher state of unity. The very separation can add to our feelings of oneness.

When two friends live in close association with each other, their feelings of love and attraction are not as powerful as when they have been separated from each other. Then, the feelings of love and longing are aroused. Furthermore, they are willing to come to their friend’s assistance and happily, share in his joy.

Similarly, in the present context, when each of you will return to his home, the love between us will be further aroused. This will come to expression by each one of us taking an interest in the other’s welfare and making an effort to help and aid him in all that he needs.

May there be no need for help, for G‑d will bless everyone with children, long life, and abundant sustenance from His “full, open, holy, and generous hand.”

The latter phrase is quoted from the Grace after Meals. It must be noted that the Baal Shem Tov’s Siddur contained the word, Gedushah, “overflowing,” rather, than the word, Kedushah, “holy.” May G‑d’s blessings be in abundance to the point that each one’s measure is not only complete, but also, overflowing.

G‑d is infinite. Hence, His blessings are also unbounded. Each person can feel that he has been blessed with abundance to the point that without effort, he can be “happy in his portion.” These blessings can be increased by adding to our service of Torah and mitzvos. Even if one proudly identifies as a Jew and observes Torah and mitzvos on a daily basis, there is still room for growth. We may “proceed from strength to strength.”

Thus, our concern for our colleague’s welfare will find expression in our efforts to help him advance in all matters of Torah and mitzvos, including Ahavas Yisrael. These activities will serve as vehicles to bring him G‑d’s blessings in an open and revealed manner.

The above helps explain why it is customary when Jews part from each other, particularly, after sharing a festival together, in this case, the Previous Rebbe’s festival of redemption, to connect that parting with a mission to fulfill a mitzvah, the mitzvah of Tzedakah.

Any mitzvah which one would fulfill after returning home as an agent of those here would express the oneness that exists between us. However, the mitzvah of Tzedakah expresses that oneness in the fullest measure.

What is Tzedakah? Helping and supporting another Jew. Thus, it expresses the oneness of the entire Jewish people, revealing the unity that exists, not only between the agent and the one who charged him with the mitzvah, but also with the person receiving the Tzedakah.

The above is particularly true when the charity is given to a Torah institution.

At present, G‑d has blessed the majority of the Jewish people (may in the near future, we be able to say “all” of the Jewish people) with sustenance to the extent that they need not, heaven forefend, accept charity. Hence, at present, the majority of Tzedakah is directed to Torah institutions; for example: an institution where Torah is studied, schools, hospitals or homes which offer assistance to mothers after birth, individuals who need to recuperate, etc.

Without question, Tzedakah which is given to an individual is a worthy deed of great importance. Our sages declared: “Anyone who maintains the existence of one Jew is considered as having maintained the existence of the entire world.”

Similarly, the Baal Shem Tov emphasized the importance of each individual Jew. On the verse, “You shall be a desirable land for Me,” he commented: Each Jew can be compared to the earth. Each piece of earth contains valuable resources including the ability to give forth produce. Similarly, each Jew can bring forth a produce of Torah and Mitzvos which will bring G‑d pleasure, as the Rabbis said: “It is pleasurable that I decreed and My will was carried out.”

Nevertheless, it is easily understood that giving to a Torah institution which serves many individuals expresses the quality of oneness to a greater degree. This will, in turn, increase G‑d’s blessings, because, in addition to one’s individual merit, he will also have a share in the merit of the Jews to whom he has rendered both material and spiritual assistance.

At every venture, it is proper to add a new element. Similarly, we find a command to regard Torah as “new” each day. Thus, even though we have already spent time together, our present meeting and parting from each other should be carried out with enthusiasm, joy, and renewed energy. This, in turn, will cause G‑d to renew His blessings and increase them, including also the ultimate blessing, the Messianic redemption.

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2. It is a Jewish custom to associate every event with the Torah portion of the week. To use the Alter Rebbe’s words, we must “live with the times” with the weekly Torah portion. The portion associated with today is the fourth portion of Parshas Balak.

This portion contains the blessings which a gentile, Bilaam, conveyed upon the Jewish people; among them the verse: “From the tops of the rocks, I see Him and from the hills, I behold Him.” On that verse, Rashi comments:

When I look at their heads and at the root of their origin, I see they are well-based and strong, like these rocks and hills. [This is] because of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

Many generations had passed since the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. The Jews had multiplied till their number exceeded 600,000. Nevertheless, when someone, even a gentile, looked at the Jews, what did he see? The Patriarchs and the Matriarchs. In a similar context, our sages declared: “If one’s descendants are alive, [it is as if] he is alive.”

It is not accidental that a Jew’s behavior resembles that of Avraham, Yitzchok, or Yaakov. On the contrary, it expresses the fact that the Patriarchs are “alive.” Avraham lives within every Jew and controls his behavior. This is not a mere genealogical fact or a matter of family lineage, but a factor which dominates every aspect of our daily lives.

Thus, the daily portion, as the entire Torah, is not merely a story of the past, but also, a guide for our behavior. From it, we can learn how we must live our lives in a manner in which they are an extension of the lives of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

To connect this idea with the daily portion of Rambam studied at present — these portions contain the laws of conversion. At Mount Sinai, before the giving of the Torah, the Jews underwent a process resembling conversion. Those actions have the power that even now, thousands of years later, we each recite a blessing each morning thanking G‑d “for not making me a gentile”; each day G‑d creates every Israelite as a Jew — the concept of conversion.

(The Alter Rebbe explains that we thank G‑d that, when our souls leave at night, a gentile soul did not cling to us.)

When a Jew recites “Modeh Ani” in the morning, thanking G‑d for returning his soul, he is conscious that his is a Jewish soul, an extension of Avraham or Sarah. Thus, the conversion process of Mount Sinai is a continuous activity, causing that each day G‑d recreate us as Jews.

3. The above, the effects of the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs, and the conversion of Mount Sinai, reinforce the principles of Jewish unity mentioned above.

Thus, even when we part, we will be connected by bonds of unity. “Where a person’s thoughts are, that is where the person is really found.” Hence, we will always be united.

This is particularly true when words of Halachah are mentioned at our parting. Our Sages declared: “A person should never part from a colleague except with the mention of words of Halachah.” The words of Halachah, that we learned together, unite us all, both men and women. (Women are also obligated to study the laws of the mitzvos which they are obligated to fulfill. These include: belief in G‑d, perception of His unity, and Ahavas Yisrael.) By remembering these words of Halachah and through the mission of Tzedakah mentioned above, we will remember each other.

The concept of unity mentioned above is further reinforced by the influence of the Previous Rebbe’s holiday of redemption, Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel Tammuz. The Previous Rebbe is “the leader of the generation;” thus, he unites the entire generation, as Rashi writes in his commentary on the Parshah from the previous Shabbos: “The leader is equivalent to his entire generation, for the leader includes the entire people.”

This concept is further emphasized by Yud-Beis Tammuz for as the Previous Rebbe writes: “G‑d did not redeem me alone on Yud-Beis Tammuz, but rather all those who love our holy Torah, observe its mitzvos, and all those who are called by the name Israel.” His redemption was a redemption for the entire generation and thus, for all future generations.

Thus, his holiday of redemption will surely give added strength to the concept of unity mentioned above. This will surely apply if we “walk in the straight paths which He has shown us... Thus, we will walk in His paths forever.”

Among the practices that the Previous Rebbe instituted and worked to spread throughout the international Jewish community is the recitation of Chitas (Chumash, Tehillim, and Tanya) on a daily basis. Also, he placed a great emphasis on the spreading of Ahavas Yisrael. By participating in these activities we cause the influence of the Previous Rebbe to be revealed in a greater measure.

This, in turn, will hasten the Messianic redemption when all of us, together with all of our property, will be brought to Eretz Yisrael. Similarly, the shuls and batei medrash of the diaspora will also be transported there including the beis medrash of the Previous Rebbe, which is found in 770.

(In connection with the number 770, Chassidim have noted that it is numerically equivalent to uforatzta.)

May we merit the ultimate uforatzta, when, with happiness and joy, we will dance forward to greet Mashiach.