1. This gathering of Tzivos Hashem is connected with the festival of Sukkos. Tzivos Hashem includes all Jews; but Jewish children, because “they recognized Him first,” take the principal part. The original choice of Jews as Tzivos Hashem was at the exodus from Egypt, as stated: “In the middle of this day all the Tzivos Hashem (hosts of the L‑rd) went out from the land of Egypt.” In that exodus G‑d prepared sukkos (clouds) for the Jews to protect them during their journey in the desert. As a perpetual remembrance of this, the 15th of Tishrei was established as a festival — the festival of Sukkos -on which we are commanded to dwell in sukkos. Part of this mitzvah is the knowledge that we dwell in sukkos “in order to know ... that I placed you in sukkos ...”

The connection between Sukkos and Tzivos Hashem goes further. To ensure that soldiers can carry out their tasks without hindrances, the military builds special housing for them, huts or tents. So too with Tzivos Hashem, the spiritual army: G‑d builds special “huts” for them to make the fulfillment of their task much easier. Therefore, when He took them out of Egypt, G‑d placed Tzivos Hashem in special sukkos — the purpose of which was to protect them and allow them to carry out their task.

As mentioned above, the fulfillment of the mitzvah of Sukkos today is with the remembrance that G‑d placed Jews in sukkos when they left Egypt. In addition, “in every generation a person is obligated to consider himself as if he left Egypt.” It follows that even in our times we have the same “protection” as that afforded to the Jews at the time Tzivos Hashem was originally formed. Just as G‑d then protected Jews from any danger, and supported them physically and spiritually to the extent that they could receive the Torah — so too “in every generation,” and especially now at the time of Sukkos, G‑d protects all Jews with “the clouds of glory.”

Although we do not see these clouds of glory, Torah tells us they protect all Jews everywhere, as explicitly stated in Tehillim “The L‑rd is your guardian, the L‑rd is your protective shade.” A Jew therefore has no need to fear anything, for he is continually with G‑d. And eventually we merit to be in the “sukkah (made of the) skin of the Leviathan,” which is the sukkah G‑d will erect in the future when Moshiach comes. And the purpose of this sukkah too is to make yet easier the fulfillment of Tzivos Hashem’s task in the future after Moshiach’s coming.

The revelations of the future depend on our service now in exile. We merit to dwell in the “sukkah (made of the) skin of the Leviathan” because of our service now in a comparable matter — the proper fulfillment of the mitzvah of Sukkos. One of the main components of Sukkos is that it is “the season of our rejoicing,” thereby indicating that service on this festival must be with great joy. And the joy that a Jew has in belonging to Tzivos Hashem intensifies G‑d’s joy in His people Israel, as stated: “The Jews should rejoice in their Maker: Meaning, every Jew should share in G‑d’s joy, Who rejoices and is happy in His dwelling in this world.” Thus the service of joy brings the greatest protection even in exile, until it brings the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

Moreover, in the time of Moshiach’s coming there will be complete unity between Jews, for G‑d gathers all Israel from exile and takes them to our Holy Land, to the holy city of Yerushalayim, and to the rebuilt Bais Hamikdosh. And since the mitzvah of sukkah emphasizes the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel -”all Israel are worthy of dwelling in one sukkah” -it has special importance in preparing for the unity of the future.

From the above we learn that through Tzivos Hashem fulfilling the mitzvah of sukkah properly, and influencing their friends to do likewise (Ahavas Yisroel), the “whole people,” together with the “whole Torah,” will go to the “whole land.”


2. As mentioned above, everything depends on Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos. It begins with Torah study, as stated: “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Ya’akov,” meaning that every Jew inherits the entire Torah from birth. When a Jew becomes older, he starts to learn the Torah that Moshe commanded us, beginning with learning the letters of the Aleph-bais. When older still, and one learns many concepts of Torah, comprehending individual mitzvos, the beginning of it all is still the aleph-bais: for only after knowing the aleph-bass can one go further.

It follows then that the basis of the whole Torah is the letter “aleph,” the first letter of the aleph-bais, for it is the beginning of all study. We can understand this through a story concerning the Mitteler Rebbe. When as a child he started learning the aleph-bais, his father, the Alter Rebbe, summoned the teacher who was going to teach the Mitteler Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe explained to him the letter “aleph” according to its shape. “Aleph” is a “yud” above and a “yud” below and a stroke in between joining the two “yuds.” The Alter Rebbe explained that the “yud” above represents G‑d, as we see that G‑d’s Name begins with the letter “yud.” Moreover, when we want to abbreviate G‑d’s name, we write just one or two “yuds.” This “yud” is above, for G‑d is “in the heavens above.”

The “yud” below represents the Jew, who is called “yid,” because he is connected with the “yud” above. This lower “yud” is on the earth below. The two “yuds” are joined by a line, representing strong faith in G‑d. In other words, through faith every soldier in Tzivos Hashem is connected with his Commander-in-Chief, G‑d, until they become one single letter. This is the basis and beginning of the aleph-bais of Judaism.

The lesson from this story is clear: Every Jewish child must constantly remember that the start of each day and service must be in the “aleph.” That is, he must remember that through the line of faith, he, the “yud” below, is joined and united with G‑d, the “yud” above. When this is a Jewish child’s foundation, he is then able to rise ever higher in Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos.

Besides the “aleph” teaching us that G‑d and Jew are united as one, there is an additional lesson to be learned about G‑d and His world. Every one of you must influence all your friends to know that “In the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth.” Knowing this, one will not mistakenly think G‑d is found only Above and has no connection with the doings below — and therefore those below can do as they like. Instead, one must know that a Jew is united with G‑d through faith that leads to Torah study and mitzvos. And this unity gives a Jew strength to do the above without any disturbances.


3. A special lesson is to be derived from the day on which this gathering is taking place — Tuesday, the third day of the week, the day on which “it was good” was said twice — “good for heaven and good for creatures.” “Good for creatures” is the idea of Ahavas Yisroel; to do good with creatures. Also, this good must be in all aspects, including bringing all Jewish children into the Jewish ranks (Tzivos Hashem). This is achieved by being a living example — through conducting oneself in the manner of “good for heaven.”

Another lesson from the third day (which has particular emphasis on Sukkos which is the third festival — following Pesach and Shavuos) is from the number three. It reminds all Jews to conduct themselves according to the directives of the “threefold Torah,” and to engage in the three things on which the world stands and exists — Torah, prayer, and deeds of loving kindness. Through these things a Jew receives G‑d’s blessing, to the extent of effecting peace in the world, making it ready to receive our righteous Moshiach.