1. The common theme of all gatherings of Tzivos Hashem is that their goal is to gather Jewish children together to show their friends and the world that each of them belongs to Tzivos Hashem. This is expressed in the conduct appropriate to the general mission of Tzivos Hashem: to effect in the world the recognition that “In the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth” — that G‑d is the creator and master of the world and its inhabitants. Therefore one must conduct oneself at all times and in all things consonant to G‑d’s will, knowing that “G‑d stands over him ... and searches his mind and heart (to see) if he is serving Him as is fitting.” That is, despite the fact that “the whole earth is full of His glory,” G‑d devotes His attention exclusively to a child to check his/her conduct.

When a child does all in his power to be a proper member of Tzivos Hashem, he certainly will be successful in fulfilling G‑d’s mission of making this world a fit dwelling place for Him. This is the common theme which unites all children present at these gatherings.

In addition to this common theme, each particular gathering has its own unique lesson. The special distinction of today’s gathering is that it takes place following the Shabbos on which the month of Elul is blessed. Since the strength and blessings for the service of Elul derive from Shabbos Mevorchim Elul, it marks the beginning of preparation for Elul. Hence this gathering must be in the spirit of Elul.

The special distinction of Elul compared to other months, the Alter Rebbe writes, is that during this month G‑d is as a king in the field, and is accessible to and meets all his citizens, and receives them graciously and benignly. A person’s conduct in the field, when he is engaged in agricultural work, is completely different than when he is in the king’s palace. This then is what is special about the king going to the field: He leaves his palace, his capital city, and goes to the field and there meets people as they are engaged in their farming work — and in such a situation the king greets them warmly and graciously, and the people speak to and request of the king all their needs. Only afterwards does this influence the people to accompany the king to his palace.

The lesson from this for Tzivos Hashem: The main task of a boy or girl in Tzivos Hashem is to fight the Yetzer (Evil Inclination) by learning Torah and performing mitzvos, including that of “You shall love your fellow as yourself.” Man was created by G‑d such that from time to time he must rest, eat, drink, etc., so that he may renew his energy to continue fulfilling his mission. The times when Tzivos Hashem are sleeping, eating, etc. are similar to the above parable of a person in the field: When they are actually engaged in battling the Yetzer, or parading before the king, they are in a far loftier state than when in the field farming (in the case of Tzivos Hashem, when eating, drinking etc.).

The lesson from Elul, when the king is found in the field, is that even when Tzivos Hashem are engaged in the mundane physical pursuits of eating etc., they know that also then they are members of Tzivos Hashem, and that also then G‑d, their Commander-in-Chief, is together with them. Therefore before eating or drinking they surely make a blessing, and before sleeping they recite Shema, and so on.

It follows that the knowledge that the king is in the field effects increased strength in the work of Tzivos Hashem. Knowing that they are always members of Tzivos Hashem, and that G‑d is always with them, their eating and drinking is also for the purpose of gaining strength to vanquish the Yetzer — which is the principal goal of Tzivos Hashem.

As in the above parable, G‑d receives them generously and warmly even when they are engaged in mundane pursuits, and this serves as the preparation to afterwards accompanying the king to his palace. This is the idea of the month of Elul, when begins the preparations to crowning the King on Rosh Hashanah.


2. In addition to this general lesson of the month of Elul, there is a lesson to be derived from the particular day on which this gathering is being held. It is the week in which parshas Shoftim is read, which talks of judges and police. Judges decide the law; police carry out and enforce it. In man’s spiritual service, “judges” correspond to the Torah intellect within each Jew which enables him to judge himself and decide how to act. “Police” refer to man’s limbs, which carry out the decisions made by the Torah intellect.

The connection between “judges and police” and the month of Elul is that since during Elul one is in the “field,” it is possible that one will forget about the royal palace, and engage only in farming (mundane matters). One therefore needs “judges and police” to ensure that even in the field one’s conduct is consonant with being a member of Tzivos Hashem. Through this, when one comes to the palace, it will be recognizable upon him that he has “judges and police” and therefore his conduct is proper.

Today is the 27th of the month of Av and it too provides a lesson. At times, the Yetzer can attempt to frighten a person by pointing out that there are so many people who are not in Tzivos Hashem, or are not Jews — and since he is such a small minority he is in trouble! The answer to this comes from the portion of Tehillim said on the 27th of the month. It states: “A Song of Ascents: In my distress I called to the L‑rd, and He answered me.” When a Jew feels he is distressed and in trouble, he should not be depressed and frightened, for G‑d is together with him, and therefore certainly will answer him when he cries out to Him. Moreover, not only is the trouble eradicated, but it is converted to good.

The certainty that G‑d will answer when man calls out is so great that even before “I called to the L‑rd and He answered me” it states “A Song of Ascents.” There are two aspects in this: A Song to G‑d with joy; and that song itself is in the manner of ascending from level to level — “A Song of Ascents.” For even when a person is in distress, he knows it is only temporary, and that G‑d will certainly answer his call immediately.

Hence, when Jews are in the darkness of exile (the greatest “distress” possible), they know it is only of a short duration, and one need but “call out to G‑d” — by singing about wanting Moshiach now, and saying “We await your salvation all the day” — and then G‑d certainly answers: Jews are immediately redeemed. Then we go immediately to greet our righteous Moshiach, Moshiach the king, and together with him and the Supreme King of kings we go out from exile and the “field” and come to the capital city of G‑d — Yerushalayim, and therein to the royal palace — the third Bais Hamikdosh. There all Jews will rejoice — “A Song of Ascents” — together with Moshiach and G‑d.

In conclusion, it is proper to make steadfast resolutions and to fulfill them regarding increase in Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos, and all matters of Judaism. This includes the fulfillment of “You shall love your fellow as yourself,” meaning to unite with all Jewish children to strengthen the ranks of Tzivos Hashem.