1. Every farbrengen must be connected with concrete action. Therefore, we try to find in everything a connection with the mitzvah campaigns. The farbrengen has an open connection to the mitzvah campaigns. First of all, it is Shabbos parshas Shekalim, when we read of the mitzvah to give the half-shekel. In our times, this mitzvah expresses itself in the giving of tzedakah — which is the connection to the tzedakah campaign.

In addition, Shabbos itself is associated with the campaign of Shabbos lights, kashrus, and family purity. Our Sages say that when a person comes to his house on Friday night, he finds “a lit candle, a set table, and a spread bed.” “A lit candle” — the Shabbos lights; “a set table” — kosher food and drink; “a spread bed” — family purity.

When Shabbos parshas Shekalim is also Shabbos Mevorchim, as this year, (in contrast to when Rosh Chodesh Adar is on Shabbos, when parshas Shekalim is read then, not on Shabbos Mevorchim), there is a connection to the education campaign. Shabbos Mevorchim is the idea of giving blessings for all the days of the month from the Shabbos preceding Rosh Chodesh. Education is the idea of giving knowledge to another to ensure his conduct in the future will be proper.

Shabbos Mevorchim blesses the coming month (“chodesh”). “Rosh Chodesh” is the idea of the unity of the sun and moon. Thus Shabbos Mevorchim is the idea of education (as above) in the manner of “chodesh” — unity. That is, education in the manner of love of Jews and unity of Jews.

This Shabbos is also Shabbos parshas Mishpatim. “Mishpatim” means the laws of the Torah, which is the connection to the Torah campaign.

We see openly, then, the connection to the majority of the mitzvah campaigns: tzedakah, Shabbos lights, kashrus, family purity, education, love and unity of Jews, Torah.

In addition, this Shabbos is erev Rosh Chodesh. This means that on Shabbos the idea of Rosh Chodesh is already present, and therefore the haftorah “Mochor Chodesh” (“Tomorrow is the new moon”) is said.

The very fact that we already prepare for the next day (“Tomorrow is the new moon”) emphasizes education, which is the training of one’s conduct for the future.

However, the education campaign is emphasized even when Shabbos Mevorchim is not erev Rosh Chodesh. As explained previously, the fact that Shabbos Mevorchim blesses the following month is itself the idea of education. Thus the idea of “Mochor Chodesh” must be connected with a new campaign.

Rosh Chodesh, we have noted, is the unity of sun and moon, meaning the unity between G‑d (sun) and Israel (moon). This is connected to the tefillin campaign, for the mitzvah of tefillin is to tie them on one’s arm. That is, tefillin symbolizes the tying and unity of a Jew to G‑d, to subjugate the mind and heart to G‑d. Even a simple Jew, who normally does not know the meaning behind mitzvos, understands this, for the meaning behind tefillin is part of the mitzvah to remember G‑d’s unity and to subjugate the mind and heart to service of G‑d.

This then is the connection between “Mochor Chodesh” and the tefillin campaign: both allude to the bonding and unity between Jews and G‑d.

In addition, it is Shabbos Mevorchim Adar. The central theme of the month of Adar is the miracle of Purim, which occurred in the manner of “it was turned around,” as stated “The month which was turned around.” Haman wished to annihilate Jewry. Through self-sacrifice exhibited by Jews — “he (Mordechai) did not bend the knee nor bow down” — the decree was abolished, and was “turned around” into joy and a festival.

Self-sacrifice does not mean just the willingness to sacrifice one’s life — one’s soul — for sanctification of G‑d’s Name. It also means the willingness to sacrifice all his matters, his entire being, to G‑d, without limits.

This is the connection to the mezuzah campaign. The idea of a mezuzah is G‑dliness. A Jew, when entering or leaving his house, places his hand on the mezuzah and kisses it, knowing the mezuzah is connected to G‑d. It is placed on the entrance to the house, on the outside of the threshold. This symbolizes that all the particulars of the house, even the most external, are included in the mezuzah’s domain. Thus the meaning of the mezuzah is the surrender of the complete Jew to G‑d.

The connection then between the mezuzah campaign and self-sacrifice (the idea of Adar — Purim) is that both express the complete devotion and surrender of a Jew to G‑d.

Furthermore, the mezuzah protects a Jewish house, with the letters Shin-Daled-Yud written on the mezuzah standing for “Shomer Dalsos Yisroel” — ”Guardian of the Doors of Israel.” This too is connected with Purim: Through bonding with G‑d with mesiras nefesh, the Jews in the time of Purim received G‑d’s protection and guarding — the miracles of Purim.

Since the campaign to have a house full of Jewish books is the same idea as mezuzah — both permeating the house with sanctity and G‑dliness — it too is connected with the month of Adar.

Finally, Adar is also connected with the campaign to have all Jews purchase a letter in one of the Sifrei Torah being written to unite all Jewry. On Purim, “the Jews kept what they had previously accepted:” although the Jews had accepted the Torah at Mt. Sinai, on Purim they accepted in again with greater force and vigor. Thus Purim — and therefore Adar — is connected with the campaign to have all Jews acquire a letter in the Sefer Torah — thereby openly emphasizing their connection with Torah.

Our Sages state that “when Adar approaches, we increase in joy.” Indeed, the joy on Purim is greater than that of the other festivals, to the extent that it is beyond all limits. Since the mitzvah campaigns are all associated with the idea of Adar, we must engage in these campaigns with the greatest of joy. And when this is so, the success in our efforts is that much greater.


2. We mentioned previously that this Shabbos is erev Rosh Chodesh. Shabbos itself is associated with the redemption. The Mishnah (Tomid 7:4) discusses which psalm was said each day by the Leviim in the Bais Hamikdosh. “On Shabbos they used to say ‘A Psalm, a song for the Shabbos day:’ A Psalm, a Song for the time to come, for the day which will be all Shabbos and rest for life everlasting.” From this we see that Shabbos is similar to, and a “taste” of, the time of the future redemption.

The idea of redemption on Shabbos must permeate weekday also. As we see, on weekdays we pray that “Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish ... for we hope for Your salvation every day.” But, because there is a great gulf between Shabbos and weekday, we need an “intermediary” through which the idea of redemption on Shabbos can reach weekday.

That intermediary is Yomtov. Yomtov is termed “Mikroh Kodesh,” “Mikroh” meaning “call” and “Kodesh” meaning “holy:” That is, Yomtov of itself is weekday, but we “call” it, and drawn down into it, holiness.

There is, in addition, another intermediary which is closer yet to weekday — “Rosh Chodesh.” Although Yomtov is of itself weekday, and we draw down holiness into it, nevertheless, once it has became “Mikroh Kodesh,” it is in many respects equal in sanctity to Shabbos, and many types of work are prohibited. Thus a closer intermediary to weekday is Rosh Chodesh, when work is permitted. Yet it still has special sanctity: When G‑d showed Moshe the new moon and instructed him on the laws of Rosh Chodesh, He told Moshe: “See it like this, and sanctify” (Mechilta, Rashi, Shemos 11:2).

Rosh Chodesh is specially associated with the future redemption, for Rosh Chodesh is the renewal (“birth”) of the moon, and our Sages say that “Israel is destined to be renewed like it,” to the ultimate extent that they shall be as the moon in its complete fullness — in the future redemption.

This is the special distinction of Rosh Chodesh immediately following Shabbos (as this month). When the transition between Shabbos (redemption) and weekday (exile) is effected through Rosh Chodesh, it is much easier for the redemption of Shabbos to permeate weekday, since Rosh Chodesh itself emphasizes the idea of redemption.

The above is understood even by the simplest Jew: Every Jew knows that compared to weekday, his state of being on Shabbos is one of redemption. Thus, although after Shabbos he will have to worry about making a living, and he may still have debts from before Shabbos, when Shabbos comes he forgets all weekday matters, removes all worries from his heart, and is only joyful. He has been “freed” from weekday.

When he must leave Shabbos, and weekday begins, he knows it is not proper to forsake the Shabbos atmosphere, but must instead introduce-the sanctity of Shabbos into his weekday affairs. Thus, after Shabbos, in the weekday prayer, he asks that “Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish ... for we hope for Your salvation every day.” In other words, he “lives” with the idea of redemption — Shabbos — the entire week.

The simplest Jew also understands the lofty nature of Rosh Chodesh. Rosh Chodesh is the birth of a new moon, about which the Siddur (which is for every Jew) says: “They (Jews) are destined to be renewed like it.” “Renewed” refers to the essence of a Jew. And again, even the simplest Jew knows that his unique essence is not his body, but rather “to glorify their Creator for the name of the glory of His kingdom” (as we recite in the blessing for the sanctification of the new moon). This is expressed by fulfilling Torah and mitzvos, and by performing all his work with love to G‑d. The “renewal” of Jews therefore means a renewal of his observance of Torah and mitzvos, the ultimate of which will be in the future redemption. Thus the birth of the new moon reminds a Jew of the future redemption.

This, then, is the lofty distinction of Rosh Chodesh immediately following Shabbos. When a Jew leaves Shabbos and must enter weekday — redemption to exile — he is given special strength, when he sees the birth of the moon, to ensure that his weekday affairs be permeated with the idea of redemption. For Jews have a lunar colander, and thus when he sees that immediately after Shabbos the new moon is born, he is reminded of the future redemption — although he is now in weekday.

The idea of redemption is also emphasized in the haftorah of parshas Shekalim. The haftorah talks at length of the command to the priest to concern themselves with the repair of the Bais Hamikdosh. Nowadays, in exile, when the Bais Hamikdosh is destroyed, it is obvious that the intention in reading this haftorah applies principally to the third Bais Hamikdosh which will be built in the future redemption. Although the third Bais Hamikdosh will be built by G‑d — and therefore seemingly there is no place or need for “repairs” — nevertheless, it means that Jews must continually seek to “repair” themselves — to constantly rise higher and higher in sanctity.


3. Chapter 24, verse 1 of parshas Mishpatim states: “To Moshe He said: Come up to the L‑rd ...” Rashi, on the words “To Moshe He said” comments: “This section was said before the Ten Commandments [which are recorded earlier in Scripture, in parshas Yisro]; and on the 4th of Sivan, [the command] ‘Come up’ was said to him.”

This section records events which happened on the 4th of Sivan (and also on the 5th). Its proper place is therefore in parshas Yisro, where the events which were a preparation to Mattan Torah (which was on the 6th of Sivan) is related at length. Torah, however, is not written in chronological order. Therefore Rashi notes that this section was said before the Ten Commandments — but was recorded in Scripture afterwards.

But not all is clear: When a section is written not in its proper place, explanation is needed. For example, at the end of parshas Noach (11:31), Rashi says: “Why does Scripture relate first the death of Terach before the going forth of Avram? So that the matter should not become known to everyone ...” We see, then, that in the plain interpretation of Scripture, explanation is needed why a section in Torah is not in its proper place. In our case, what is the reason an entire section (not just one verse as in parshas Noach) is not in its proper place. And since Rashi — who always explains that which is necessary in the plain interpretation — gives no explanation, we must conclude the answer is so self-evident that he need give none.

Mattan Torah comprises two general aspects 1) The giving of the Torah, which G‑d taught the Jews, as stated: “ G‑d spoke all these words.” First He said the Ten Commandments; then he taught the entire Torah, including “These are the judgments” (beginning of our parshash). 2) The ascent to and bonding of Jews with G‑d, effected through the covenant made between G‑d and the Jewish people. This second aspect is expressed through Jews’ service to G‑d, also one of the principal aspects of Mattan Torah, as stated: “When you take out the people from Egypt, you shall serve G‑d on this mountain.”

Thus, among the things G‑d commanded Moshe Rabbeinu to tell the Jews before Mattan Torah, is “You shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to Me” — the general idea of Jews’ connection to G‑d (the second aspect in Mattan Torah).

After the general command “These are the things you shall speak to the children of Israel,” the two aspects of Mattan Torah are presented in detail. First, the Ten Commandments (beginning with its preparations); then, “To Moshe He said: Come up to the L‑rd” — the second aspect of Mattan Torah: Jews’ ascent to and bonding with G‑d through the covenant.

This is why the section “To Moshe He said” is not written together with the Ten Commandments. It is a second, separate aspect of Mattan Torah, which followed after the Ten Commandments.

This, however, only explains why this section is not together with the Ten Commandments. It does not explain why it is written specifically at the end of parshas Mishpatim.

When a section is written not in its proper place, it is because there is some connection to the section it is placed next to. In our case, the section “To Moshe He said” is written where it is because of its connection to the following section.

Our section, as explained above, talks of the bond between G‑d and man through the covenant. The next few parshas — Terumah, Tetzaveh, Vayakhel Pekudei — talks of the building of the Mishkan. The building of the Mishkan is the ultimate in the bond between G‑d and Jews, as stated: “They shall make a Sanctuary for Me and I will dwell with them.” Therefore our section i- placed immediately before these parshas.

The above clarifies certain details in this Rashi. Rashi quotes the words “To Moshe He said: Come up.” His comment only addresses the time when this section was said (“To Moshe He said”). It does not seem necessary to add the words “Come up” in his quote.

But, because the idea of this section is the covenant between G‑d and Jews, when the Jews were elevated to the peak of perfection, Rashi also quotes the words “Come up,” thereby emphasizing the idea of this entire section.

Rashi is careful to say that “This section was said before the Ten Commandments” and not “before Mattan Torah.” Because this section is a part of Mattan Torah (the second aspect, as explained above), Rashi could not say it was said before Mattan Torah, but rather “before the Ten Commandments.”