1. It has been stated many times that when a number of Jews assemble together the general concept of unity is emphasized. Even when the Jewish people are “scattered and dispersed among the nations,” they nevertheless are referred to as “one people,” for “their laws differ from all other nations”: The Jewish nation is bound with the “one Torah” which was given from the “one G‑d” and therefore they are “the one nation.”

The Jewish nation is thus called “the one nation on earth.” Even when they inhabit “earth” (a soul enclothed in a body in a physical world) they are in a state of “the one nation.” Although living in the diaspora, in the exile where the darkness is doubly intense, as it states “the darkness will blanket the earth and it will be dim for the nations,” even so it still states “on you (the Jews) G‑d will shine.” For the relationship of the Jewish nation with G‑d is such — “for who is such a great nation that has a G‑d so close to it” (in every era). Therefore just as the Almighty is “the one G‑d,” subsequently Jews are “the one nation.”

The above mentioned is taking into account the differences that exist in the Jewish nation, as our Sages state “The Almighty created mankind in a way that their faces are not identical and their opinions differ.” The Jewish nation itself is divided into ten major categories — “Your heads, your tribes ... from the hewer of your wood till the drawer of your water.”

Despite these differences and those in regard to service of G‑d, the Jewish nation remains in a state of unity. The reason is that “we all have one Father;” the soul of every Jew is “an absolute part of G‑d.”

The soul is the principal factor and the body is only secondary, therefore the unity achieved by the soul overpowers the differences caused by the body. This also applies to the differences in the soul itself (its specific powers), they too are secondary and subordinate to the principal existence of the soul which is an “absolute part of G‑d.” Hence, in every given situation the concept of unity is sustained because of the “true” existence of the Jewish nation.

However, unity maintained at the level of the essence of the soul does not suffice. This unity must penetrate and actively affect the individual powers of the soul. Also within the body, where the concept of difference between one person and another is emphasized to an even greater extreme, there is the necessity to negate the notion of separation and emphasize unity.

[This is in accordance with the general purpose of the descent of the soul into a physical body to reveal the powers of the soul in this physical world and involve the body in good and holy matters.]

This in effect is the commandment of “Love your fellow as yourself.” The unity of the Jewish nation must actively show itself in the conduct of the Jewish nation in a way of “love your fellow Jew” to the extent that the love to the “other” is as to “yourself;” since both are really one entity.

As the Talmud Yerushalmi states: If a person was cutting meat and accidently chopped off his hand will he then take revenge and chop off his other hand? Even though the right hand and left hand are two separate limbs of the body, these differences have no bearing of the fact that they are a part of one body which takes precedence over the differences.

This concept can be clearly understood within the framework of the body. Despite the differences in the individual limbs of the body, the blood, which is the “life-force” of the body, flows equally throughout all the components of the body, the brain, right hand, left hand and even the heel of the foot! Only then is the body a healthy one for in essence all the limbs are connected together and receive their sustenance by the heart pumping blood throughout the body.

Just as in the body, the unity of the limbs is actively displayed (by the blood), similarly the conduct of the Jewish nation in their every thought, speech and action must actively display the concept that the Jewish nation-is one entity.

The commandment of “loving your fellow” is such an important matter that it is considered a “Great Rule in the Torah,” and even more so “It is the whole Torah.” For the foundation and purpose of Torah is the unity of “G‑d and the Jewish nation” and this can only be achieved through “Love your fellow as yourself.” The rest of the Torah is considered an explanation of this principle, meaning that through the performance of Torah and mitzvos the concept of “Love of a fellow Jew” is accentuated and revealed.

Furthermore, being that loving a fellow Jew is the whole Torah, — the living Torah — the true and eternal guide for a Jew’s life, the concept Jew’s of Torah and mitzvos must penetrate the person in every facet of his life. For Torah (and mitzvos) is the explanation of “love a fellow Jew.”

When the conduct of the Jewish nation is in the spirit of unity, it enables there to be unity in the whole world. For the purpose of creation of the world is “for the sake of Torah and Israel.” It is in the power of the Jewish nation, by displaying oneness and unity amongst themselves that the entire world should recognize that the “owner” (of the world) is the “One G‑d.” This of course will effect general peace on earth, that, “no nation will lift a sword against another,” all recognizing G‑d and fulfilling their divine tasks including non-Jews fulfilling the Seven Noachide Laws.

2. Even though throughout the whole year there is the necessity for unity, there is one time in the year when this concept is more greatly stressed which in effect is for the purpose to permeate and penetrate this unity into the rest of the days of the year.

This one time in the year is “Yom Kippur,” which the Torah refers to as “once in a year.” The concept of oneness and unity is illustrated on Yom Kippur by the fact that it is the only Yom Tov that even now in exile is still one day (in contrast to Rosh Hashanah, Sukkos etc). On Yom Kippur the concept of unity is also illustrated in the three categories of “world, year and soul (space, time, life).” The High Priest, the one who was unique in the Jewish nation — the level of “one in soul” entered the Holy of Holies on the “unique” day of the year — the level of “one in year;” to perform the unique service in the Holy of Holies, the unique venue in the world — the level of “one in world.”

The concept of unity is also illustrated by the “custom of Israel” (which is considered Torah Law), to recite at the beginning of the Yom Kippur prayers “with the consent of the Almighty and with the consent of the congregation we are permitted to pray.” As if to say, we set aside all differences between the Jewish nation, and stand as “one nation” at the “one” time of the year, before the “one” G‑d.

Yom Kippur comes after the preparation of Erev Yom Kippur, Shabbos Shuvah and the Ten Days of Repentance. Therefore in the Ten Days the concept of unity is also greatly stressed.

The Rambam states in the Laws of Repentance “even though repentance and pleading is always commendable, in the Ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur it is even more commendable, and the repentance is accepted immediately as it says ‘seek the L‑rd while He may be found.’“

As stated earlier, the unity of the Jewish nation comes as a result of “we all have one Father.” In the Ten Days of Repentance the “One Father” is in a state of “while He may be found” to every single Jew in a far greater way than at any other time of the year. This enables the Jewish people to easily achieve unity, in actuality; in thought, speech and action.

Especially since this closeness is initiated by G‑d Himself in a way of the “luminary advancing to the spark.” As we openly see that when a luminary and spark come close to each other, the spark is absorbed and incorporated within the luminary. Furthermore, since the luminary is “capable of everything” it can cause that even when the spark is absorbed and incorporated in the luminary it still remains a self entity — a spark! The result of this is, even as a self entity, it is still, recognizable in the spark that it is a part of the luminary. When one looks at the spark, he sees the luminary.

In light of the above we can understand the great effect of unity caused by this farbrengen, at this specific time just before Yom Kippur. By many people gathering together, including those who are listening from afar, the concept of unity is revealed and emphasized in an “actual” manner.

In accordance with the general rule that “deed is the essential aspect,” it is now the time and place to encourage action in the above mentioned concept of unity. The custom is that in all synagogues, the Rabbi or spiritual leader of the congregation makes a public address on Shabbos Shuvah.

It would be most suitable and proper that the address should stress and emphasize the greatness and importance of “loving and uniting the Jewish nation” in a manner of love your fellow as yourself” in its simple context — in action!

When the Jewish nation is in a state of unity, conducting themselves in accordance with “the one Torah,” they reveal the “One G‑d” till its ultimate level. “On that day the L‑rd shall be One and His Name One,” with the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach speedily in our days.

3. The concept of unity is also applicable to the souls of the deceased in “The World of Truth.” As explained earlier, unity is achieved as a result of the soul, and since the soul is eternal, unity of all souls can be and must be achieved even with the souls of the deceased. On the contrary, the souls of the deceased as they are in “The World of Truth” exemplify the concept of unity in its true sense. For in this world physicality blankets the true spiritual identity of a Jew, whereas in the World of Truth, the true existence of a Jew is openly revealed — his divine soul, which is “an absolute part of G‑d.”

This gives added exaltedness to the unity achieved by this farbrengen, being that the purpose of the farbrengen is to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of my mother whose soul now resides in the World of Truth.

In accordance with the teaching of the Baal Shem Toy, when you grasp something partially you are in fact grasping it in its entirety, even though we are commemorating the anniversary of one soul, since, however, this soul is an “absolute part of G‑d,” through it we have the ability to grasp (so to speak) the entire essence of G‑d. This one soul enables us to unite, together with all souls of both the living and deceased, with “the One G‑d” in a way that all become one entity.

The added exaltedness achieved in unity by souls residing in the World of Truth has its practical application most of all on Yom Kippur.

There is a surprising factor with the “Yizkor service” on Yom Kippur which we don’t see on any of the other Yomim Tovim when the Yizkor is recited. There are Jews, regardless of their affiliation or background, the one time in the year they come to shul is on Yom Kippur for the Yizkor in memory of their parents or grandparents. Simply meaning, it is the souls of their parents and grandparents that entice them to come to shul to pray together with other Jews.

Furthermore, even before Yom Kippur these people are already busying themselves to make sure they receive a “good” seat. For this they are willing to pay a large sum of money, and as the Alter Rebbe writes in the Tanya “with this money he could have purchased necessities of life.” Regardless they opt to use this money for a holy cause, to have a seat in a synagogue on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur.

On Yom Kippur, “once in a year,” every single Jew feels that his true “home” is a holy place, the synagogue, where, together, Jews pray to the Almighty, learn Torah and give charity. Here they unite and bind themselves with the entire Jewish nation and all souls since the day of creation. Bearing this in mind they prepare themselves and their families to spend the day of Yom Kippur together with other Jews in a holy place.

All of this is achieved by, and in the merit of, the souls residing in the World in Truth.

This unity also applies to those who are blessed with living parents. Their having to leave the Shul during the Yizkor service, because the souls descending from heaven occupy the shul, also achieves the above mentioned level of unity. This comes from their understanding and contemplating the concept and affects of the Yizkor service.

May it be the will of G‑d, that in the merit of Jews gathering together to pray in a quorum, of which it states “Behold, G‑d does not despise the mighty,” G‑d will fulfill the requests of everyone’s general and specific requirements. More so, the most important request, the ultimate redemption by the righteous Moshiach in a way of “I will hasten (his coming).”

4. The Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy contains prayers that pertain to all inhabitants of the world. For aside from the Jewish nation being judged, the fate of the whole world is determined on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is through the prayers and repentance of the Jewish nation that a year of “blessing and goodness” is bestowed on the whole world.

Rosh Hashanah is referred to as “the first day of creation.” This is despite the fact that the actual first day of creation was on the 25th of Elul, and Rosh Hashanah was the sixth day when man was created. Man is the ultimate purpose of creation and through him perfection is reached in the creation process.

This is in accordance with the well known dictum that the purpose of creation was for “the sake of Israel,” for “You have chosen us from all the other nations” and blessed the Jews with a divine soul that would descend into a physical body to fulfill the divine mission of spiritually elevating the world, making it a fit place for G‑d to reside.

When Adam was created on the 6th day of creation his very first task was to pronounce G‑d as King of the Universe. Our Sages relate that Adam summoned all the creatures and told them “Come, let us prostrate ourselves and bow down; let us bend the knee before the L‑rd our Maker.” This in return enacted that “The L‑rd is King; He has garbed Himself with grandeur.” For this reason the liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur include prayers requesting blessings for the entire world; through the prayer and service of the Jew, a renewal in the creation process is enacted, causing a greater level of perfection in G‑d’s creation.

Thus, it is understood the responsibility a Jew has to extend his influence on the gentiles. As the Rambam states “And so commanded Moshe from Hashem to persuade all inhabitants of the world to accept upon themselves the Noachide Laws.” When the Jewish nation accepted he Torah and its laws they also accepted the task and special mission to influence the gentiles to fulfill the Noachide Laws. The content and spirit of the Noachide Laws is that the world should be a place of habitation as it states “(the world) was created to be inhabited” in a way that “no nation will lift a sword against another” — even in the era prior to the coming of Moshiach.

The emphasis must be, as the Rambam states, “that they should accept them and do them because G‑d commanded so in the Torah.” Not because of any intellectual conclusion, even that of the wisest of all men, but, because so commanded the Creator and Director of the world: He who personally directs every individual aspect of the world; the inanimate, plantation, animal life and human life.

This directive is of utmost importance to those who have personal affiliation with gentiles. Even though sometimes one must engage in “political play” to present his case, ultimately it is forbidden to conceal the “soul” and truth of the matter, that it is a commandment of the Almighty. (We see in reality, that when one confronts an issue with the “truth” he has the greatest chance of success).

When the Jewish nation accepts upon themselves this task of influencing the gentiles, G‑d will certainly aid them in making the world “a place of habitation.” There will be a spirit of friendliness and helpfulness between the gentile nations, and more so, the gentiles will assist the Jewish nation in all their requirements, wherever they may be. This will take place even in exile, as it states: “And their kings will be your servants and their princesses your mid-wives.”

Involvement in this task and mission will enact the speedy arrival of Moshiach. Then the service of the High Priest (“one in soul”) on Yom Kippur (“one in year”) in the Holy of Holies (“one in world”) will take place in its fullest sense.

From Yom Kippur we enter into the festival of Sukkos when the 70 oxen are sacrificed in honor of the “70” nations on earth. Since the divine revelation of Sukkos is a result of the service of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (as interpreted from the Scriptures), the concern for the gentiles also begins on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Through this the world will be prepared for the fulfillment of the promise “then I will convert all the people to a pure language ... to serve Him with a common consent,” “and Kingship will be the L‑rds,” speedily in our days with the arrival of the ultimate redemption by Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

5. The service of every Jew, including spreading Yiddishkeit and influencing gentiles to adhere to the Seven Noachide Laws must be fulfilled in a spirit of joy and gladness.

When a Jew finds himself in exile where “the darkness blankets the earth,” it is probable at times that the task of annulling the darkness will be subject to great difficulties. This, in turn, will effect his ability to serve G‑d in a manner of joy and gladness; to the extent that he will consider serving G‑d to be a bother and burden.

Contrary to this, G‑d ensures “He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him” — when one is a true G‑d-fearing person, G‑d fulfills the desire of the person, that his service should not be a burden, but rather enjoyable and pleasurable.

This is taking into account that which the Mishnah states “Man was created to toil,” for it is clearly understood that their are two categories in toil: a) toil which is a burden b) toil which is pleasurable.

An example of pleasurable toil is: a man is given a heavy package of precious stones from which he will be able to double his investment, the only condition is he must carry the package himself. It is certain that any “normal” person will joyfully carry this package despite its great weight. The burden is of no significance in contrast to the immense profit he will soon earn.

How much more so in regard to Torah and mitzvos which are the true and only “possessions” of a Jew. As our Sages relate “When a man passes away, neither gold, silver nor precious stones accompany him, but, Torah and mitzvos alone!” It is certain that his “toil” will be of the utmost pleasure, immeasurably more than the pleasure derived from precious stones.

This year Rosh Hashanah falls out on Shabbos. The principle factor of Shabbos is pleasure as it says “you shall call Shabbos delight.” Since Rosh Hashanah, which influences all the days of the coming year (as is indicated from that which it is called the “head” and not the “beginning of the year” — just as the head directs the body ...) is on Shabbos, a special and unique ability is given that the service of G‑d throughout the whole year should be in a spirit of pleasure and delight.

In addition to this, this year is the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe Maharash. The famous saying of the Maharash is “the world thinks (when one reaches an obstacle) only if he cannot go under he goes over it, and I say the initial step is to go over!”

This is the emphasis of this year, the 100th anniversary of the Maharash. The service to G‑d, in a manner of pleasure and delight, should be administered in a manner of “reaching far and beyond.” This means that from the outset there are no burdens or difficulties to overcome but “all stand prepared” — to receive the blessings of G‑d by fulfilling G‑d’s commandments.

The concept of reaching far and beyond is also emphasized in this week’s Torah portion — parshas Ha’azinu. In the beginning of the parshah Moshe says “Give ear heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.” In regard to “heaven” it says “give ear,” the connotation being from a close distance; in regard to “earth” it says “hear,” the connotation being from afar.

Here the concept of “reaching far and beyond” is stressed. Firstly, he begins with “heaven” (spirituality) and only then does he proceed to “earth” (materialism) (this is contrary to normal procedure, beginning with lower levels and gradually ascending to higher levels). Secondly in regard to heaven itself Moshe uses the terminology of “give ear” meaning from a close distance, whereas in earth he uses “listen” meaning from afar. Due to the powers and strength of Moshe Rabbeinu every Jew is close to spiritualism (heaven) and far from materialism (earth) — reaching far and beyond.

In the second sentence of parshas Ha’azinu it says “My speech shall distill as dew.” In regard to dew the Talmud says “The congregation of Israel made a thoughtless request; yet G‑d granted the request, as it says, ‘And let us know, eagerly strive to know the L‑rd. His going forth is sure as the morning. And He shall come to us as the rain.’ The Holy One, blessed be He said to Israel:

‘My daughter, you ask for something which is at times desirable and at other times is not desirable, but I will be to you something which is desirable at all times, as it is said, I will be as dew unto Israel.’”

The difference between rain and dew is, the supply of rain is dependent upon the service of man and therefore only at times desirable, whereas dew is initiated by G‑d Himself and therefore desirable at all times.

Here too is emphasized “reaching far and beyond.” A Jew is apt to think, for him it is sufficient that G‑d should come as rain. He must realize however that being a descendent of Avraham, Yitzchok and Ya’akov, a member of the “Chosen People,” the request for rain is a thoughtless one. He is deservant of the revelation of G‑dliness at the level of “I will be as dew unto Israel”: an eternal relevation reaching far and beyond.

In conclusion: the “deed is the principal factor” — service of G‑d in a spirit of joy and delight and in a manner of “reaching far and beyond” — and very soon we will end the exile with the arrival of Moshiach speedily in our days.