1. As every year, we have all gathered in the last days of the year, days which serve as a preparation to greet the new year. It is therefore the appropriate time to undertake good resolutions for the coming year — to increase in Torah and mitzvos, beginning from these last days of the old year. Seeing this, G‑d then increases in blessings for a good and sweet year.

For the preparations of Rosh Hashanah to be adequate, an understanding and contemplation of its concept is a necessary prerequisite. Our Sages state that G‑d says to Jews, “Say before Me on Rosh Hashanah [verses concerning] kingship, ... so that you will crown Me as king over you.” There is no greater honor for a Jew than when G‑d Himself asks him to crown Him as king. The knowledge of this adds great delight to all aspects of service to G‑d — and as a result, to the undertaking of good resolutions to greet the new year, and the start of their implementation in the last days of the year that is passing.

In greater clarification: Through crowning G‑d as “King of Israel,” we also reveal that G‑d’s kingship holds sway over the entire world. Although we live in a world whose corporeality conceals its true nature, a Jew nevertheless knows that G‑d created the world such that man should reveal the G‑dliness therein. This is the mission given to the Jews by G‑d: to tear away the veils and reveal the truth underneath — that the world was created by G‑d, for the purpose that it should be a dwelling place for Him. This mission is achieved through a Jew performing his service according to the Torah, which is the guide to one’s daily life.

Because the world is made into a dwelling place for G‑d, the Supreme King of kings, it follows that it contains everything in perfection — including all man’s physical necessities.

The start of making the world a dwelling place for G‑d is in a person’s private home — by making it a place where G‑d can say, “I shall dwell within them.” This is achieved by Jewish women, each of whom is the “mainstay of the house.” The conduct of the entire home is dependent on her. It is she who excels in those qualities necessary to educate the children in the spirit of Judaism, so that they should know they are the sons of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov, and the daughters of Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah — and act accordingly. It is she who ensures that the home and its members is permeated with the Divine Presence — “I shall dwell within them.”

Of course, the mission of making a Jewish home a dwelling place for G‑d devolves upon both man and wife. But there is a difference in their approach: A man’s task is to teach the general principles on which the home will be based; a woman’s task is to bring this to realization, in all particulars.

When a Jew’s home becomes a dwelling place for G‑d, it illumines its surroundings with the light of Judaism. And when the service of all Jews is combined together, the whole world is made a dwelling place for G‑d.

Thus, although a Jewish woman’s service is inside the house, as Scripture says, “all the glory of the king’s daughter is inside,” nevertheless, when the house is illuminated by the light of Judaism, the whole world is thereby illuminated with G‑dliness.

This is the connection of Jewish women with Rosh Hashanah. The service of Rosh Hashanah is to crown G‑d as King of Israel, and through it, “king of the entire earth.” This is accompanied by each Jew bringing G‑dliness into his private house, which, we have explained, affects the whole world. Because it is the woman who causes the Divine Presence to dwell in the home, it follows that it is her service which causes G‑d to be “King of the whole earth.”

In different words: The world is comparable to a big house. The man of this “house” is G‑d, and the woman is Jewry. We explained earlier that the woman’s function is to translate the man’s words into reality in all particulars. In the “big house,” the world, G‑d (the man) directs how to make the dwelling; Jews (the woman) translate these directions into actuality through fulfilling Torah and mitzvos. This is done in two aspects: first by “keeping away from evil” — just as a house is first cleaned of dirt; and then by “doing good” — just as after the house is cleaned, one adorns it with beautiful objects.

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2. The Alter Rebbe taught that we must live according to the directives learned from the weekly parshah. In our case, this week’s parshah is “Nitzavim — Vayeilech” and there are lessons to be derived from it in regard to a woman’s mission and her special connection to Rosh Hashanah.

“Nitzavim” means to stand firm. In man’s service to G‑d, it means a Jew must stand firm in all matters of Judaism, allowing nothing to deter him from fulfilling G‑d’s will. Even if there are scoffers who say Jews are a small, weak people, and cannot change the world, every Jew knows he is on the mission of the world’s Creator — and therefore nothing can deter him from fulfilling it.

“Vayeilech” means to go, which teaches that one cannot be satisfied with one’s past achievements, but must constantly be moving — always rising from level to level in sanctity. Similarly, one must constantly be increasing in the dissemination of Judaism.

The firm stance learned from “Nitzavim” encompasses the lesson of “Vayeilech” — that one must stand firm in one’s determination to always rise higher in sanctity. And, because G‑d only demands of Jews what they are capable of, it follows that Jews have the strength to fulfill their service in the manner of “Nitzavim — Vayeilech.”

When a Jew makes a soul-reckoning, and sees that there are deficiencies in the past year’s service, he should not be despondent. What has passed has passed, and from now on, he should perform his service in its entirety. This is particularly so in the month of Elul, when the king, G‑d, is in the field, together with all Jews. And this is even more so after the 18th of Elul, when extra life and vitality is given for the service of Elul.

3. In addition to the above lesson from “Nitzavim-Vayeilech,” there are directives to be derived from the daily portion of the weekly parshah — the fifth of Nitzavim-Vayeilech. It talks of the mitzvah of “Hakhel,” which took place at the end of every seven years. The mitzvah was to “Gather the people, the men, the women, and the children ... so that they should hear and they should learn ... and they will make certain to carry out all the words of this Torah ... all the days that you live on the earth.”

The special role of woman is emphasized in this mitzvah. Children, even the smallest infants, took part in Hakhel, and they too were brought to the Bais HaMikdash. And it was their mothers who brought them.

All of the above hastens the true and complete redemption. When Jewish women make their individual homes into “miniature Sanctuaries,” it hastens the building of the Sanctuary for all Jewry.