1. Every gathering of Jews, particularly of children who comprise Tzivos Hashem, is “beneficial for them and beneficial for the world.” The present gathering has special significance for it is taking place in a synagogue and study-hall; it follows the Minchah prayer and study of G‑d’s Torah; and it is in the Ten Days of Repentance when an individual is reckoned as a congregation.

That the gathering is taking place during the Ten Days of Repentance is specially significant, for our Sages say that the verse “Seek the L‑rd while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” refers to the Ten Days of Repentance. Although G‑d is always close to man, for “the L‑rd stands over him ... and checks his heart and mind if he is serving Him properly,” nevertheless, in the Ten Days of Repentance, G‑d is unusually close — “He may be found” and “He is near.” Such a time therefore affects a Jew’s behavior. When Jewish children gather together at this time to strengthen themselves in Torah and mitzvos — particularly in the area of helping others (“You shall love your fellow as yourself”) — and undertake good resolutions commensurate with this special time, it is of great importance in G‑d’s eyes and He bestows success for the implementation of these resolutions.

That this gathering is taking place immediately after Rosh Hashanah lends special meaning to the resolutions undertaken at this time. On Rosh Hashanah, Jews, fulfilling G‑d’s request to “Say before Me [verses concerning] kingship so that you should cause Me to rule over you,” crown G‑d as king. The crowning that takes place on Rosh Hashanah — with great pomp and blowing of the shofar — gives strength for the crowning of G‑d as King every day of the year, when we say “I offer thanks to You, loving and eternal King.” When, therefore, Jews gather together after Rosh Hashanah to undertake good resolutions to accept G‑d’s kingship, the crowning that took place on Rosh Hashanah lends strength, life, and light to all the days of the year.

This is especially true when these resolutions also concern helping another Jew in the area of Torah and mitzvos. Indeed, the firm resolution to accept G‑d’s resolution exists, with great self-sacrifice, even in places where it is impossible to freely observe Torah and mitzvos. They can serve as a living example for each of us.

These resolutions should be undertaken with great joy, joy that we merit to be G‑d’s chosen people, of whom G‑d requests “Cause Me to rule over you.” This joy also applies when the resolutions are being implemented — when one observes Torah and mitzvos — for we should rejoice that G‑d is King of Israel: Although He is the Creator of the heaven and earth, He concerns Himself with every Jew.

When G‑d sees that Jewish children are behaving properly, including the fact that they are gathered together at a holy time, in a holy place, for a holy purpose — He blesses all of them for special success in these resolutions. This in turn adds to the good verdict already granted on Rosh Hashanah.

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2. The above applies to all the Ten Days of Repentance. But because the Yetzer [Evil Inclination] thinks that a Jewish child, because of his extreme youth, can easily be swayed, he constantly tempts the child. Therefore extra directives, accepted on a daily basis, is necessary.

This is also the reason why immediately after Rosh Hashanah we say “tachnun” (the confessional prayer). We beg pardon from G‑d that, in a moment of weakness, we listened to the Yetzer; and we simultaneously undertake good resolutions that from now on we shall do all in our power to ignore the Yetzer and fulfill G‑d’s will — to the extent that the Yetzer, seeing he has no hope of swaying the Jewish child, stops bothering him.

The directive for today comes from the daily portion of the weekly parshah, the second of parshas “V’Zos HaBerachah.” This direction from the Torah applies to all Jews, for “the Torah which Moshe commanded us is a heritage of the congregation of Ya’akov.

It states in the daily portion (33:8): “And of Levi he said ... They shall teach Your ordinances to Ya’akov, and Your Torah to Israel.” The task of Levi, in other words, is to teach Jews how to serve G‑d.

The Yetzer then comes and tells a Jewish child: How can you think that you inherit this section of the Torah? You are but a small child, and have only begun to learn Torah. You cannot teach G‑d’s laws to the Jewish people! You should wait until you become older, reach Bar Mitzvah, and have learned more Torah. Only then, when you are a scholar, will you be able to fulfill the directive “They shall teach Your ordinances to Ya’akov.”

The Rambam, however, disagrees, and states: “Not only the tribe of Levi, but every person ... whose heart moves him ... to stand before the L‑rd ... to serve Him” belongs to the tribe of Levi. Thus all the blessings bestowed upon the tribe of Levi are also bestowed upon everyone who is moved to serve G‑d. When, therefore, a Jewish child decides that he wishes to “stand before the L‑rd ... to serve Him” — he wishes to be a member of Tzivos Hashem — the blessing that “They shall teach Your ordinances to Ya’akov and Your Torah to Israel” applies to him.

But a child may ask: How can he, who has only begun to learn Torah, teach G‑d’s laws to Jews? The answer is that this question comes from the Yetzer, who wants to confuse Jewish children. The truth is, however, that every Jewish child can teach G‑d’s Torah.

How? Each child, through behaving according to the Torah’s dictates, can be a living example to others — and this alone qualifies him to be of those who “teach Your ordinances to Ya’akov and Your Torah to Israel.” When, for example, a child refuses to eat a tasty food — even though he is hungry — before making a Berachah, he is publicly announcing that the whole world is created by G‑d. A Jewish child, through making this blessing, teaches G‑d’s Torah to Jews, for he has shown how every Jew — man and child — should conduct himself in his daily life.

Likewise, by saying every morning “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me,” he reminds the entire world that G‑d is King of the world. Through this, one influences Jews in one’s surroundings, and becomes a partner in their good deeds.

But the Yetzer continues to try to confuse a child, and says to him: How can you influence others and teach them G‑d’s laws? You are but a small child, and why should anyone listen to you?

The answer to this derives from the last verse of the daily portion of Chumash (33:12): “Of Binyamin he said: The beloved of the L‑rd shall dwell in safety by Him.” The blessings given to each tribe apply to all Jews, and therefore every Jew, Torah tells us, is “the beloved of the L‑rd.” When, therefore, another Jewish child sees how this child acts according to G‑d’s directives, he too wishes to follow suit — for this is how “the beloved of the L‑rd” acts. Indeed, he will consider it an honor that one who is G‑d’s beloved takes time to influence him that he too can become the L‑rd’s beloved.

The verse then continues “He dwells between his shoulders,” which Rashi explains refers to the Bais Hamikdosh (which was built in Binyomin’s territory). The Torah thus tells us that the reward for acting as one should is the true and complete redemption, when the Bais Hamikdosh will be rebuilt. In other words, through such service a Jewish child merits that G‑d should become his tenant (“He dwells”) — and not just a tenant in his soul, but in the actual Bais Hamikdosh.

When a Jewish child does yet another good deed, speaks another good word, learns more Torah and fulfills another mitzvah, he hastens the fulfillment of the promise “He dwells between his shoulders.”


3. Moshiach is a descendant of King David, the Sweet Singer of Israel who authored the Tehillim. The Rebbeim directed that we say, every day of the year, the psalms that belong to that day. Particular psalms belong to a particular day for they are part of the day’s special mission — and that mission is derived not just from the daily portion of Chumash (as above), but also from the daily psalms.

The portion of Tehillim recited today, the fifth of the month, begins with the words “A psalm by David: Render to the L‑rd ...,” and finishes with “the L‑rd will bless His people with peace.”

Commentaries explain that the beginning of this psalm refers to the Giving of the Torah, and its acceptance by Jews specifically. The end of the psalm talks of the ingathering of the exiles in the future redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

We learn a simple lesson from this psalm: Every Jew must remember the great joy of accepting the Torah — “Israel rejoices in His Maker” — and therefore should rejoice in G‑d’s Torah and mitzvos. This causes G‑d to rejoice in Israel, in their proper conduct — “the L‑rd rejoices in His works” — which automatically brings about the ingathering of the exiles.

Through our service in all the above, we come to the fulfillment of the verse at the end of this psalm: “The L‑rd will give strength to His people; the L‑rd will bless His people with peace” — we will have peace in our Holy Land. And because this peace comes from G‑d — “the L‑rd will bless His people with peace” — it is a true and everlasting one.

Through this, we merit the fulfillment of that stated at the end of today’s portion of Tehillim (Psalm 34): “All who take shelter in Him are not condemned” — All who trust in G‑d will not be condemned in judgment on Rosh Hashanah. Indeed, the reverse happens: G‑d “sits on the throne of mercy” and blesses every one of you — and through you, your families — with a good verdict and a good and sweet year.