1. The common purpose of the rallies held for Tzivos Hashem is to encourage each member to succeed in his or her battle against the Yetzer (evil inclination), by increasing in Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos. And, consonant to the command “You shall love your fellow as yourself” -which is “a great principle in Torah” — you must also inspire your friends to do likewise: to inspire those already in Tzivos Hashem to be better “soldiers,” and to inspire others to join, and therein rise to the highest rank.

In addition to this common purpose, every rally has an “order of the day,” a unique element commensurate to the special service of the period in which the rally is held. For example, the rally held during the days of selichos was associated with the special service of Rosh Hashanah.

The order of the day of today’s rally has to do with the special mission and service associated with this time when we leave the month of Tishrei and enter the month of Cheshvan. This mission will become clear through understanding the difference between the period of time following Pesach (passing from winter to summer) and the period following Sukkos (passing from summer to winter).

The Midrash states (Shir Hashirim 7:2): “By rights, the Day of Assembly of the festival of Sukkos (Shemini Atzeres) should have followed [Sukkos] after an interval of fifty days, as the Day of Assembly of Pesach (Shavuos) [follows Pesach]. But since at the Day of Assembly of Sukkos summer passes into winter, the time is not suitable for travelling. What can this be compared to? A king had many married daughters, some daughters living near by, while others were a long way away. One day they all came to visit their father the king. Said the king: ‘Those who are living near by are able to travel at any time, but those who live far away are not able to travel at any time. So while they are all here with me, let us make one feast for all them and rejoice with them.’ So too with regard to the Day of Assembly of Pesach (Shavuos) which comes when winter is passing into summer, G‑d says ‘The season is fit for travelling.’ But the Day of Assembly of Sukkos (Shemini Atzeres) comes when summer is passing into winter, and the roads are dusty and hard for walking; therefore it is not separated by an interval of fifty days. Said the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘These are not days for travelling, so while they are here, let us make for all of them one festival and rejoice.’“

We see from this Midrash that passing from Pesach to the following period of time, from winter to summer, is similar to passing to a near by place (“some daughters were living nearby”). The passing from Sukkos to the following period, from summer to winter, is passing to a far away place (“others were a long way away”).

Although this concept is explained in Chassidus, it must also be made comprehensible to young children, for the whole Torah, which includes Midrash, was given to all Jews as a heritage. This understanding must then be expressed in their day to day life.

Every army has times when its soldiers are in barracks (which, in Tzivos Hashem, are Jewish homes), when the soldiers are resting. Then there are times when the soldiers leave their barracks and go to a “far away place” to actually engage in warfare.

Of course, in regards to Tzivos Hashem, their Commander-In-Chief is G‑d, Who is always with this army, as stated: “G‑d stands over him and the whole earth is filled with His glory.” In their case, a “far away place” means a situation when it is most difficult (it is “far away” from them) to fight against the yetzer.

This is the difference between winter and summer: During winter, it is cold, and special precautions must be taken not to be harmed by the cold. As we see, soldiers during the winter need special clothes and boots. Moreover, during winter the days are short and the nights long — and therefore more light is needed to illuminate the greater darkness of winter.

So too with Tzivos Hashem: There are times during the year when the world is spiritually cold and dark, and service to G‑d is like being in “a far away place” — it is extremely difficult.

In clarification: Service during Yomtov is different than during weekday. On the former, service in general is much easier, for then special strength is given from above. As we see, the Yomim Tovim are called “seasons of joy,” for then extra joy is present. During the rest of the year however, on weekdays, such special strength is not given.

True, during the entire year G‑d is together with every Jew, and a Jew should always be in a state of joy, as stated: “Serve G‑d with joy.” Nevertheless, it is evident that the service and joy on Yomim Tovim — called “seasons of joy” — are loftier than that of weekday.

Thus, the difference between the period when we pass from Pesach to summer and the period when we pass from Sukkos to winter (beginning with the month of Cheshvan), is similar to the difference between a “nearby place” and a “far off place.” When we leave Pesach and enter summer, each member of Tzivos Hashem knows that in fifty days time there will be another Yomtov, another “season of joy” — Shavuos. Moreover, the fifty days themselves between Pesach and Shavuos are not mere weekdays, but on each of these days we fulfill the mitzvah of Counting the Omer — which likewise gives strength to carry out one’s mission easily.

Thus, when Tzivos Hashem goes to war against the yetzer in the period after Pesach, it is similar to going to a “near by place” when it is much easier to fulfill their mission of vanquishing the yetzer. For one knows that in a short period of time Shavuos will be here, and in a few months we will have the Yomim Tovim of Tishrei.

But when we leave the festival of Sukkos and enter winter, a long period of time — six months -will pass until the next Yom Tov (Pesach), when special strength is given. Thus, passing from Tishrei to Cheshvan (summer to winter), is similar to going to a far-off place, when it is most difficult to fulfill one’s mission.

It follows, then, that for Tzivos Hashem to fulfill their task even when going to a far-off place (passing from Tishrei to Cheshvan), special strength is needed. This strength is provided by Shemini Atzeres, the Day of Assembly of Sukkos, which immediately follows Sukkos (unlike the Day of Assembly of Pesach (Shavuos) which is after an interval of fifty days). As the above Midrash says: “Said the king: ‘Those who live far away ... while they are here with me, let us make one feast for all of them and rejoice with them.’“

The great rejoicing on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, arranged by “the king their father” — G‑d, a joy associated with the Torah (“Simchas Torah”), provides the strength and directives with which to carry out one’s mission even in a far-off place.

The Yomtov of Simchas Torah, whose joy is loftier than that of the other Yomim Tovim, is given to Jews in the same measure as if they had prepared fifty days for it (similar to Shavuos which comes after fifty days of preparatory service).

This is the order of the day of this rally held at the beginning of the month of Cheshvan. As Tzivos Hashem gather together in the period in which we pass from Tishrei to Cheshvan, from a period full of Yomim Tovim to one which has none, — going to a “far off” place — they need special encouragement and inspiration not to be affected by the yetzer’s words. He tells Jewish children: “Since you are going to a “far off” place where service is very difficult, you should use the time for rest and play. Don’t sink greater efforts in Torah study; use your study time for playing instead.”

The yetzer tells children the same thing in regard to food: “Since you are going to a “far off” place, you need a healthy body. You therefore need not be so scrupulous and careful about the kashrus of food and drink. You can also eat without reciting a blessing, or at least rush through it — so that you can eat faster, be healthier, and therefore carry out your mission better!”

To this, a member of Tzivos Hashem answers: “Certainly G‑d wants me to have a healthy body. But a Jew’s body cannot become healthy through eating non-kosher foods, or eating without a blessing. Since such things harm the soul which gives life to the body, they also harm the body.

As for the yetzer’s claim that service in a “far off” place (six months without Yomim Tovim) is too difficult to perform, a member of Tzivos Hashem retorts: “You are a fool! You don’t at all understand what is happening here. Because we are going to a “far off” place, G‑d gives everyone of us special strength and abilities to fulfill his mission in Tzivos Hashem. Although it is cold and dark in winter, we have just now come from Simchas Torah!”

With such strength, every Jew goes to carry out his mission in a “far off” place in the best manner, with joy and happiness. Then the yetzer is completely vanquished, and we hasten the true and eternal joy of the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

2. I see from the program before me that you are preparing for a competition in the area of unity of Jews, consonant to the verse you have just recited: “You shall love your fellow as yourself -this is a great principle in the Torah.” Unity of Jews comes through love of Jews.

The true meaning of a competition is the idea of “jealousy among sofrim (scribes) increases wisdom.” “Sofrim” (lit. “those who count”) refer to those who count the letters in the Torah. This, first and foremost, applies to Jewish children who are beginning to learn Torah. Even before they are able to study deeper concepts (e.g. Talmud), they learn Scripture, and, because of Torah’s preciousness, they count its letters.

When a competition — “jealousy among sofrim” — is held among children who belong to the “people of the Book,” the result is that it “increases wisdom.” Every one of you tries to increase in true wisdom, which is Torah, the wisdom of G‑d. Obviously, such efforts are commensurate with each child’s abilities.

To increase the spirit of competition (“jealousy among softie), prizes will be awarded for success — for the purpose of “increasing wisdom.”

King David said (Tehillim 119:63): “I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.” We learn from this that when one meets Jews, including children, who fear G‑d and observe mitzvos, one should join with them. Therefore I would like to participate in the subject of your competition — the idea of unity of Jews. Although I cannot participate in the competition, which is only for children of pre Bar Mitzvah age, I don’t ask to receive a prize given in the competition, but to join with you, as a “companion of all those who fear You,” in your efforts in uniting Jews. As noted above, each of us does so commensurate with his abilities.

3. The idea of increasing Torah study and observance of mitzvos (as a result of the competition) is consonant to the special blessing the month of Cheshvan possesses. It is related (Melochim I, 6:38) that it took King Shelomoh seven years to build the first Bais Hamikdosh. It was completed in the month of Cheshvan, as stated: “In the eleventh year, in the month of ‘Bul’ (Cheshvan) which is the eighth month, the House was completed according to all its parts and laws.”

Cheshvan thus has a specially lofty blessing, in that it is the month in which the construction of the Bais Hamikdosh was finished. And, because the Bais Hamikdosh was built with the help and participation of all Israel, this concept is significant to all Jews.

Since the first Bais Hamikdosh was completed in Cheshvan, it follows that Cheshvan is an especially auspicious time for the building of the third Bais Hamikdosh. In this too all Jews can and must participate — by increasing in all holy things, Torah study and observance of mitzvos -for oneself and for one’s surroundings. That is, the dissemination of holiness in the entire world is the fitting preparation for the building of the third Bais Hamikdosh.

In addition to this general distinction of Cheshvan, there are certain days in this month which are specially auspicious. The seventh of Cheshvan is the day on which the last Jew who made the pilgrimage to Yerushalayim returned home. After celebrating Sukkos in the Bais Hamikdosh, Jews returned to their homes laden with the sanctity and joy of the Bais Hamikdosh — which would then be extended to the whole year. Thus the seventh of Cheshvan, when the last Jew returned home, reminds and respires a Jew that it is the time to begin to “unload” the spiritual baggage collected during Tishrei, and to use it during the year.

On the fifteenth of the month, the moon is full, having waxed greater and greater from its ‘birth’ on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. When we sanctify the moon, beginning from the seventh of Cheshvan, we say: “They (Jews) are destined to be renewed like it.” Thus, although the moon then is not full, we know that its light will increase until it reaches its fullest on the fifteenth — just as Jews are destined to be renewed in the future redemption.

The fullness of the moon on the fifteenth therefore encourages Jews in exile to conduct themselves according to G‑d’s will — which brings light in the world — and thereby brings the future redemption.

4. A further lesson can be derived from the rally being held on Tuesday of parshas Noach. Torah tells us that “Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generation.” That is, Noach was the only one in his generation to follow G‑d’s will -without being influenced by the rest of the generation doing the opposite.

This teaches a Jewish child that, when he firmly resolves to behave righteously, he need not be influenced by the fact that so many adults in the world do not. Moreover, through Noach’s conduct, the whole world was saved, and humanity began from him. If Noach could do this as an individual, a Jewish child, who is together with tens of thousands of other members of Tzivos Hashem, can certainly effect changes in the world.

The lesson from Tuesday, the third day of the week, is that on the third day of creation G‑d said “it was good” twice. This teaches that it is not enough that a Jewish child himself behaves in a good manner, but he must also influence others to do likewise (“it was good” twice).