1. We are presently in between Pesach and Shavuos. These two holidays are closely connected since, as the Torah states, the goal of our being released from Egypt was in order to receive the Torah.

Although thousands of years have passed since these events occurred, the Torah tells us that we are to relive them constantly. Each year Hashem gives us a special power to meditate on their significance with added vigor, in order that we improve our deeds.

Pesach and Shavuos are similar in that both involve the creation of the Jewish people. On Pesach, as the prophet Yechezkel describes, the Jewish people were “born.” On Shavuos the nation’s formation was completed, and we were told, “Today you have become a nation.”

On a personal level, since these holidays speak of the creation of the Jewish people, it is the proper time for everyone to think about the purpose of his or her own creation. This goal is summarized by our Sages, “The purpose of my creation was to serve my Creator.” Therefore, at this time of the year in particular, we must arouse within ourselves a fresh commitment and new energy in fulfilling Hashem’s will, both as individuals and as members of the entire Jewish people.

Obviously this must be done with joy. Everything in Torah and mitzvos must be done in this way, “Ivdu es Hashem b’simchah,” and how much more so when we are speaking about something as important as the creation of the individual and of the entire Jewish people.

At the present time, when the world is behaving abnormally, everyone certainly wants to do whatever possible to improve the situation. This can be done by adding in our service of Hashem; thereby making the world into a “dwelling place” for Hashem, a “garden” in which Hashem receives delight.

2. Jewish women have a special connection to these two holidays. In describing Pesach, our Sages said that, “In the merit of the righteous women of that generation our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.” So, too, before Shavuos, Moshe Rabbeinu was told first to speak to the women, and to the men only thereafter. Therefore each of these holidays must carry a lesson particularly for women.

From Pesach, one can learn to emulate the behavior of the women of that generation. Although they had spent over 200 years in the bitter Egyptian exile, they were nevertheless full of pure, unbounded faith that Hashem would redeem them.

Furthermore, they were firm in their belief that they would be elevated to a lofty status far above all the nations of the world a’alcha gam aleh; i.e. (I will elevate you). It was this faith that led to their redemption.

We also find a special stress on the role of women regarding Shavuos. Before the Torah was given, Moshe Rabbeinu was sure that the women would agree to accept the Torah, and in a way of naaseh (we shall do) before nishmah (we shall understand). Therefore, before Shavuos each year, the women must again be the first ones to accept the Torah and precede naaseh before nishmah.

What is the idea of placing naaseh before nishmah? Jews are told that they must be different from the other nations of the world. Even in normal daily activities, such as food and dress, they must be unique: their food must be kosher, their clothing must be free of shatnez, and their houses must have mezuzos on the doorpost.

The non-Jewish world might express their objections to such behavior: why must the Jews be separate and behave differently from the rest of the world?

Here we return to the idea mentioned above: what is the purpose of our creation? Even cursory thought into the fact that we are created in order to serve Hashem will create a strong desire to perform mitzvos. After all, Hashem (unlike us) is unlimited and has everything He wants. Nevertheless, He requests us to do certain acts, thereby causing Him pleasure, etc. A servant who knows that his actions have the ability to cause pleasure to the king will certainly go about his work with great enthusiasm and energy. Should he wonder why it is that the king enjoys these particular things, he will nevertheless first do the action, and leave the questions for later.

So, too, regarding naaseh and nishmah. By recognizing the tremendous value in Torah and mitzvos, and our ability to bring pleasure to Hashem, we won’t feel threatened by the questions posed to us as to why they are necessary. We feel joy in serving our Creator.

True, we must utilize our minds to understand Hashem’s commands to the best of our abilities. But this comes only after the action: naaseh before nishmah.

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3. There is another lesson of central importance to be derived from the Jewish women who lived in Egypt. Our Sages tell us that despite Pharaoh’s decrees, the women tried to have as many children as possible. They could have thought, “Why should we go through the pain and effort; the children will be killed anyway?!” However, they remained steadfast in their faith in Hashem. He answered in kind, protecting the children from harm.

This was accomplished by none other than a young girl, Miriam. With the pure simplicity of a child, she told her father, “Your actions are more severe than Pharaoh’s! He only decreed against the boys, but you [through not having any children] are against the girls as well!” Due to her statement, her father reunited with her mother, Moshe Rabbeinu was born, we came out of Egypt and received the Torah.

The lesson for our generation is clear. “Family Planning” has no place in Jewish life. Financial considerations have no significance since, as we’ve mentioned many times, it is Hashem who gives us our livelihood, and we only make a fitting receptacle for His blessings. Every additional child brought into the world brings along additional channels of livelihood.

Furthermore, this is not just a private matter. The Gemara says that Mashiach will come only after all souls come down to the world. The birth of a child therefore affects the entire Jewish people and all of mankind.

After the children were born, the Jewish women in Egypt did everything possible to ensure that they receive a proper education. As a result, these children “recognized Hashem first” at the Red Sea, and acted as “guarantors” for the entire nation when the Torah was given.

So, too, in these times, every possible effort must be made to improve the education of one’s children. The nature of parents is to get the best for their children; how much more so when we speak of their souls. Even should it involve more money, one should definitely obtain the best education possible. When the parents do their part, Hashem will certainly do His, by taking care of the needs of the entire family.

Now, before the summer, special efforts must be made to enroll all Jewish children in a proper camp environment. It is also the time to encourage registering all children in Jewish schools for the coming school year.

Along this line, one must do everything possible to enact implementation of a “Moment of Silence” in all schools. (See Sichah to Tzivos Hashem, Pesach.) At the present, a child can go through weeks and months without hearing, or even thinking, about the Creator of the world.

There are those that complain that this contradicts the Constitution. The opposite is true: the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, whereas the present state of affairs makes it impossible to mention or think about Hashem! Furthermore, even would a Moment of Silence present a contradiction to the Constitution, citizens are allowed to amend it should they deem necessary. The present state of affairs makes it clear that this is the case.

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4. Last Shabbos we read parshas Bechukosai, which contains many blessings, including the promise, “I shall make peace in the land.” The Zohar explains that there are three general types of peace: “in the land,” “in the home,” and “in the world.”

The “land” refers to the individual Jew, who is called, “a desirable land.” Peace must be made between his yetzer tov and yetzer hora. Since the yetzer tov is part of G‑dliness, it is eternal, and obviously it is the yetzer hora that must change. True inner peace will come only when it too is converted to a yetzer tov, as we say in Shema, “with all your heart,” as the Gemara explains, “with both inclinations.” Only then will the person find inner peace, and not be torn between two conflicting desires.

When individuals behave in this manner, there will also be peace “in the home.” There will be no “generation gap,” caused by improper education and a resultant conflict of values. Women have a special ability to bring about such peace, since each is “the foundation of the home,” and can create the atmosphere she wants.

This will also bring about the third category, “peace in the world.” The Rambam says clearly that the world is evenly balanced, and even one positive act can tilt the entire world to the side of good.

Making peace in the world is particularly important at this time, since hostility between nations has reached its peak. The situation is particularly troublesome in Eretz Yisrael, where there is pressure placed on them to give up land; land which was given by Hashem through open miracles! What right could a small group of people (120, among who are included non-Jews) give up land which belongs to the entire Jewish people without their permission? This is not “democracy,” it is theft! Certainly Hashem will help every Jew to act with pride, and not be affected by the complaints of the non-Jewish nations, and preserve the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael.

To conclude, all the resolutions from the Convention, including the points mentioned above, should be fulfilled in actuality. In this merit, may we witness the immediate arrival of Mashiach.

This is also the time to mention once again the importance of bringing all children, even tiny babies to shul for the reading of the Ten Commandments on Shavuos. Since the true life of the child derives from Hashem, being in shul during the reading of, “I am Hashem, your G‑d,” will certainly add to the child’s energy, strength, and health.