1. Members of Tzivos Hashem are gathered together to inspire each other to increase in Torah and mitzvos. The gathering is therefore connected with the three areas of Torah (recital of the 12 verses and sayings of our Sages), prayer (Minchah), and tzedakah (which will be given later). Consonant to the command “You shall love your fellow as yourself,” each of you must influence your friends to become members of Tzivos Hashem, and to fight and vanquish the Yetzer (Evil Inclination). This influence must be consonant to the spirit of the Ten Days of Repentance in which we now find ourselves, thereby meriting an increase in G‑d’s blessings for a good year, materially and spiritually. And by increasing in Torah and mitzvos, the spirit of Judaism prevails in the entire world, thereby bringing Moshiach now.

The unique quality of the Ten Days of Repentance expresses itself particularly in regard to each and every Jew. On Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the ten days, Jews crown G‑d anew “King of Israel” and “King of the world.” A new coronation demands greater honor and reverence to the king than formerly, and this reverence expresses itself in the king’s aloofness from the people. One may therefore think that after Rosh Hashanah, the King, G‑d, is removed and aloof from Jews. Torah therefore tells us 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: Immediately upon being crowned King, G‑d becomes closer to each Jew.

Knowing this, you will undoubtedly increase, with joy and a good heart, in all areas of Torah and mitzvos, and in general, the proper conduct befitting a member of Tzivos Hashem. Thereby you cause G‑d to come nearer to each of you, and through you, to your parents, friends, and the Jewish people. This hastens the revelation of G‑d to Jews in the third Bais Hamikdosh, in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach.


2. There is a lesson to be derived from the gathering taking place on the third day of the week, when “it was good” was said twice — “good for haven and good for creatures.” That is, on this day G‑d’s blessing (“It was good”) was for both spiritual matters (“heaven”) and physical matters (“creatures”), for one’s personal service and also for one’s efforts on behalf of others. Thus today has extra emphasis on fulfillment of the mitzvah “You shall love your fellow as yourself,” meaning to bring near to the Torah those who are only on the level of “creatures” (i.e. completely alienated from Judaism); and to influence children to join Tzivos Hashem. They too must know that in the Ten Days of Repentance G‑d “may be found” and “He is near,” and therefore a Jew must make extra efforts in fulfilling G‑d’s will.

In addition, there is a lesson to be learned from the daily portion of this week’s parshah — the third of parshas Ha’azinu. It states: “He gave him (Israel) honey to suck from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock.” The Talmud (Sotah lib) explains that G‑d made a miracle for the Jewish children born in the exile of Egypt, and provided them with two types of cake, one of honey and one of oil. As a result, when G‑d revealed Himself at the splitting of the sea, the Jewish children were the first ones to recognize Him.

In other words, even in the harsh Egyptian exile, G‑d provided Jewish children with all their needs, even luxuries like honey and oil. Moreover, He gave them honey “from the rock” and oil “from the flinty rock,” which in the natural order of things is impossible.

Since Jewish children were privileged to receive this special love from G‑d, they correspondingly show that they are worthy of this love — by being the first ones to recognize G‑d as the Creator and Master of the heavens and earth. And since G‑d is the Master of all, even in exile, and provides for one’s needs thereby enabling one to fulfill their mission by fulfilling Torah and mitzvos — it is very easy to fulfill G‑d’s will. This causes Jews to increase in their rejoicing with their Maker, thereby causing the revelation of “G‑d rejoices with His works” — G‑d reveals His great joy in every and all Jews, and bestows upon them His greatest blessing, the true and complete redemption.

The above is associated with today’s portion of Tehillim, which states at its beginning: “The L‑rd is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.” Since G‑d is the “shepherd of Israel,” He takes care that no Jew will be lacking anything. The conclusion of today’s portion of Tehillim states: “Grant salvation to Your people and bless Your heritage; tend them and exalt them forever.” G‑d continuously guards the Jewish people, even in exile, as stated: “The guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”


3. There is a further lesson derived from this year being the 100th anniversary of the Rebbe Maharash’s passing away (on the 13th of Tishrei). The Rebbe Maharash taught that a Jew should never be affected by or fear what the world may say, but instead, should always transcend all difficulties. In simple terms, this teaches Jewish children the following: The Yetzer sometimes tries to deter a Jewish child from fulfilling Torah and mitzvos by telling him he shouldn’t behave differently than other people. For example, to make sure foods eaten are kosher, to make a blessing before and after eating, etc. The Yetzer tells a child that since he is but a “small child,” he should wait until he matures before deciding if he wants to act differently than the rest of the world. The Yetzer hopes to trap the child into debate, thereby wasting the child’s precious time that should be devoted to Torah and mitzvos.

The answer to this is the Rebbe Maharash’s dictum that one must “in the first place transcend difficulties.” A child must tell the Yetzer that he wishes to have nothing to do with him, for he (the child) is on a much loftier plane — “transcending all difficulties.” No need for debate; a Jewish child knows what is proper and “in the first place transcends” all obstacles — and ignores the Yetzer. When a child acts in this manner, he will surely succeed.