1. Tishrei is the head and all encompassing month of the entire year. All matters affecting Jews during the year flow from this month, including the goal and mission of every Jew — “I was created solely to serve my Creator.” Since there are different forms such service can take, the month of Tishrei includes all types. This is seen in the festivals of Tishrei:

On Rosh Hashanah, when we crown G‑d as King. awe and self-nullification flow to the whole year, The idea of having a king is “so that his fear should be upon you,” for the existence of everything in the country is dependent upon the king. The Rambam writes that “his (the king’s) heart is the heart of all the congregation of Israel,” for just as the heart sends vitality to all the body through the blood, so too the king is the vitality and life-force of the people. G‑d is called “heart,” as stated “the rock of my heart.” And the connection between the service of Rosh Hashanah and the concept of the heart is that the service of Rosh Hashanah is on the innermost level of the heart, connected with the innermost level of the “heart of above” (G‑d).

On Sukkos, everything of Rosh Hashanah that was in a concealed fashion becomes revealed and open [causing great joy]. This is also connected with the heart, for on Sukkos we perform the mitzvah of Lulav. Lulav, in Hebrew, can be divided into two words “Lo Lev” — “to him a heart.”

From Shemini Atzeres, which follows Sukkos, all matters are drawn down for the whole year in a inner manner, concrete and actual, not just in external form.

In other words: On Rosh Hashanah, awe and self-nullification are derived for the entire year; on Yom Kippur, teshuvah; on Sukkos, joy of a mitzvah; on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, the joy of Torah.

The purpose of man’s service is to carry out G‑d’s desire to have a dwelling place in this lower, corporeal world. It is not sufficient to work on oneself, but one must influence the world to be a fit place for G‑d’s presence.

This service is performed through the observance of Torah and mitzvos, such that every day “they are in your eyes as new.” This is the concept of Shabbos Bereishis which follows all the festivals of Tishrei. When a Jew reads and learns Torah, G‑d reads and learns opposite him. When a Jew learns Parshas Bereishis, and reads that “In the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth,” G‑d learns the same thing. Since “G‑d looked into the Torah and created the world,” G‑d’s reading these words creates the heavens and earth anew. This then is the effect of Shabbos Bereishis: the creation anew of the heavens and earth.

To explain further: Man’s service in the new year is in a completely new fashion, as the Alter Rebbe writes, that on Rosh Hashanah “a new light descends superior to any previous light.” This is a general all encompassing light which is then drawn down into the different particulars of a Jew’s service in the month of Tishrei — Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah (which in turn influence the entire year).

However, this is all in regards to a Jew’s own personal service. But the ultimate aim is to make a dwelling place for G‑d in the world, to reveal all these things to the outside. As we say in our prayers: “Reveal the glory of Your kingdom upon us,” and “reveal Yourself in the majesty of Your glorious might over all the inhabitants of Your terrestrial world.” This is the idea of Shabbos Bereishis, when the creation of the heaven and earth is renewed in a completely new form — “the new heaven and the new earth that I make.”

Shabbos itself is above and beyond time. Shabbos Bereishis, which sets the tone for the entire year, causes the creation to be renewed in a completely new fashion. Man’s service, which is to prepare the world for G‑d’s presence (“Man occupies himself in Torah and keeps the world in existence”) is thus also in a completely new fashion. Through man’s service the world is prepared for G‑d’s presence in a fashion infinitely loftier than at the beginning of creation.

“The finish is everything,” and the finish and completion of the month of Tishrei, including Shabbos Bereishis, is the last day of the month, the 30th of Tishrei. This Shabbos, Shabbos Parshas Noach, which follows the 30th of Tishrei, is the elevation and perfection of everything in the previous week, including the 30th of Tishrei. Indeed, the elevation caused by Shabbos Parshas Noach applies even to Shabbos Bereishis. For Shabbos Bereishis is always in the month of Tishrei, and Shabbos Parshas Noach always in the month of MarCheshvan. Since the main work of dealing with the world is in MarCheshvan, Shabbos Parshas Noach effects an elevation and perfection in Shabbos Bereishis in regards to making this world a dwelling place for G‑d. Thus Shabbos Parshas Noach not only is in the month of MarCheshvan, when the main work of dealing with the world is performed, but also is the elevation of the finish and end of the month of Tishrei (and thus all of Tishrei since “the finish is everything”).

2. Our service in exile of making this world a dwelling place for G‑d is the preparation to the revelations of the future, when “the glory of G‑d will be revealed and all flesh will perceive it together.” The month of Tishrei, when our service is complete and perfect, and therefore comparable to the service of the future, is thus the preparation to the future redemption, when we will have the third Bais Hamikdosh.

The building of the third Bais Hamikdosh has special significance to the month of MarCheshvan. The Midrash relates that the waters of the flood, which continued for 40 days, began to come down in strength during the month of MarCheshvan. Every year, although the flood was in the past, these 40 days continued to have an adverse effect on the world. Through the service of King Shlomo in building the Bais Hamikdosh, these forty days ceased to have any such effect.

The Midrash continues further that although the Bais Hamikdosh was completed in MarCheshvan, G‑d wanted that it should be opened (for service) in the month of Tishrei, the month in which Avraham was born. Thus it was closed for 12 months until the following Tishrei. G‑d will ‘repay’ the month of MarCheshvan for losing the merit of having the Bais Hamikdosh opened then, by building the third Bais Hamikdosh in MarCheshvan.

The third Bais Hamikdosh is infinitely greater than the Mishkan that Moshe built, or the first and second Bais Hamikdoshs. For while they did not last forever, the third Bais Hamikdosh will be eternal.1 This Bais Hamikdosh will exert its influence on the entire world, sending its light and illumination to all parts of the earth. And it is the service of Jews in exile, to reveal G‑d’s presence in the world, that converts the exile to redemption.

These days are remembered and kept. When we remember and learn about the concept of the month of MarCheshvan, G‑d, Who in His Torah has said that MarCheshvan will be repaid by building the third Bais Hamikdosh then, fulfills His promise. Torah has promised that “Yisroel will eventually repent at the end of the exile, and immediately they will be redeemed” — in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach, speedily in our times.


3. It was a custom in Lubavitch after Simchas Torah to announce the words “Ya’akov went on his way.” For at the conclusion of the Yomim Tovim of Tishrei, the service of a Jew in the world begins, equipped with the spiritual ‘baggage’ acquired during Tishrei. Likewise, now at the end of Tishrei, guests are returning to their homes.

When Jews are together, united, it is a very great thing. How is it possible then for one Jew to part from another? The Baal Shem Tov interpreted the verse (Tehillim 37:23) “The steps of a man are ordered by the L‑rd, and he delights in His way” in the following manner: When a Jew finds himself in a particular place, it is because “The steps of man are ordered by the L‑rd” — he has been sent to that place by Divine Providence to fulfill a mission in the dissemination of Torah and Judaism. “He delights in His way” refers to two things: The way of G‑d; and the way of the Jew — a Jew chooses of his own free will that the place where he has been sent and the mission to be fulfilled should be “his” way (and not just because he has been forced there). Then “He delights in his ways” — it becomes his will and desire and he has great delight and enjoyment from it. This then is the reason why one Jew must part from his fellow, to go to fulfill his mission in his own place.

Yet there appears to be a paradox. On the one hand, Jews should be united together and not do anything to disturb that unity (parting from each other). On the other hand, each person has a special mission to be performed in his particular place specifically. Is this not paradoxical?

The paradox is resolved through the saying of our Sages: “A person does not part from his friend except with (saying) a word of Halachah.” The “word of Halachah” that they learn together prior to their departure, ensures that in reality “a man does not part from his friend” — for through the “word of Halachah” they, while physically apart, are in reality in a state of unity.

It is specifically through a word of Halachah that such unity is effected, and not through other study of Torah (that is not connected to Halachah affecting actual deed). In the area of Halachah itself, it must be a “word of Halachah,” the plain outright law, and not the reason and clarification for the Halachah. For in a “word of Halachah” there can be no differences, and all Jews are equal in following the clear-cut Halachah. Thus Halachah is uniquely suitable to produce the unity that ensures that “a man does not depart from his friend.”

When a Jew returns home to begin the service of “Ya’akov went on his way,” to fulfill the mission of the leader of our generation to spread Judaism and Chassidus, that mission begins with the Mitzvah Campaigns: love a fellow Jew, education, Torah study, tefillin, mezuzah, tzedakah, possessing Jewish books, Shabbos lights, kashrus, and family purity. In addition, there is the campaign of the present to unite all Jews in an eternal bond through each Jew acquiring a letter in a Sefer Torah.

There is a connection between the concept of “Ya’akov went on his way” to next week’s parshah, Lech Lecha. Chassidus interprets the beginning words of Parshas Lech Lecha “Go away from your land, from your place, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you” to refer to a soul’s descent to the earth. Before its descent, the soul was in the loftiest celestial levels — “your land, your birthplace, your father’s house.” From there it descended below — “to the land,” for the purpose “that I will show you” — that through its descent its descent its true greatness is shown and revealed.

So too in our case. When each Jew travels away to his place (“Go away from your land, your birthplace, your father’s house”) to fulfill the task laid upon him, only then is his true work and greatness revealed (“that I will show you”).

Through our service in the dissemination of Judaism and Chassidus, (“Ya’akov went on his way”), each person in his particular place (“Go away”), we merit the true and complete redemption.

The redemption is also associated with today, Shabbos. On Shabbos, even the work of serving one’s Creator is in the manner of “all your work is done,” for the service of Shabbos is in the mode of rest and delight — similar to the service of the future redemption (when we will know and delight in G‑d).

May it be G‑d’s will that every Jew be redeemed from his personal exile. Then, freed of one’s personal exile, one goes to fulfill his task of disseminating Torah and Chassidus willingly and enthusiastically — through the ten Mitzvah Campaigns, and especially the campaign to unite all Jews through purchasing letters in a Sefer Torah. The unity of Jews thus produced annuls the general exile, and very soon we will merit the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach, speedily in our time.