1. We find ourselves in the beginning of the days of Chanukah. They recall “the miracles and ... the savings acts” connected with the war in which Mattisyahu led Tzivos Hashem, (G‑d’s Army) the Jews of his time, against those who wanted “to make Your people Israel forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will.”1 (The later comes about through the influence of the Yetzer Horah.)

Without considering the consequences, even though they were “weak,” and “few” when compared to the non-Jews (“the wicked kingdom of Greece”) who were “mighty” and “many,” they entered Tzivos Hashem, waged war against them, and won a great victory. The victory caused “thanks and praise” to be given “to Your great Name,” for through it G‑d’s name was sanctified not only in that generation, but for all generations to come. Indeed, it is written concerning the Chanukah candles “these candles will never be nullified.”2 Thus, there will always remain a remembrance of Chanukah and the military victory of Tzivos Hashem. Every year when these days arrive the festival of Chanukah is celebrated and those victories are recalled.3

Since the victory of Tzivos Hashem in that generation was established as an eternal remembrance, it surely holds a lesson for all generations. In every generation, including our generation, there are Tzivos Hashem who fight against the Yetzer which wants to “make them forget your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will.” In order to be victorious in that battle, we must remind ourselves of the victory of Tzivos Hashem at that time and behave according to the guidelines established by that victory. Each year the celebration of the festival of Chanukah refreshes the remembrance of the victory that took place in “those says at this time” and gives us the secure feeling that as He worked miracles for our ancestors, He will do so for us as well. The remembrance must serve as an inspiration to Tzivos Hashem in every generation including our present generation, arousing them to battle against the Yetzer Horah, knowing that they will be able to achieve victory in a miraculous manner. Their victory will, as did the Chanukah miracle, bring about a sanctification of G‑d’s Name and leave an everlasting impression, never to be nullified.

To express the above on a simple level: Everyone must take part in war against the Yetzer Horah in order that he may increase his study of Torah and carry out Mitzvos in a careful, and simultaneously happy and lively manner. There must be a stress on “Love your fellow Jew as yourself” and every Jewish child, whether boy or girl, who has not as yet joined Tzivos Hashem must be influenced to enter immediately. This will strengthen the army and hasten the coming of its victory.

The wars fought by Tzivos Hashem are all connected with the same goal: to be able to study more Torah and fulfill Mitzvos in a more careful manner. However, each period and time is characterized by unique service. The same concept can be illustrated by comparison to an army in the simple sense. In general, an army is set up to protect the land and its people. However, in particular times, more specific projects are instituted that relate to particular needs within the context of this more general goal.

The particular task facing our generation in the general war is expressed in the call which you loudly proclaimed, “We Want Moshiach Now.” Our task is to bring Moshiach Now, immediately. Therefore, it is necessary to bring more soldiers into Tzivos Hashem in order to hasten his coming.

Jews have always desired and longed for Moshiach to come as soon as possible. Therefore, there is no place for a Jew to say that he does not want, or thinks it’s wrong, or is uncomfortable with demanding and calling out “We Want Moshiach Now.” Every Jew says exactly the same thing when he davens Shemoneh Esreh, when he stands before G‑d Himself4 . In his prayer, he declares, “Speedily cause the scion of David, Your servant to flourish.” At that time, one can be sure that each Jew is speaking truthfully. Surely, when he is speaking before G‑d and making requests of Him, he is doing so honestly. What does he ask for at that time’? That Moshiach, the scion of Dovid,5 should come speedily, in a hurry.

Afterwards, he continues, “Increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation the entire day” — i.e., what do we hope for the entire day? Your salvation, i.e., that the scion of Dovid shall flourish.6 Similarly, the same blessing is recited a second time in Minchah and again in Maariv. The entire day we are asking G‑d, as a child asks his father, to send Moshiach now, speedily. Three times every day, we ask G‑d “Speedily cause the scion of Dovid to flourish.” Furthermore, though we only verbalize this prayer three times daily, “we hope for your salvation the entire day.”

2. The above, bringing Moshiach now, constitutes the unique task of our generation. This is particularly emphasized this year, a Hakhel year,7 when we are commanded to “collect the nation: the men, the women, and the children.” This is one of the Mitzvos of the Torah: G‑d tells us that this year is uniquely suited to gathering the entire Jewish people, even very young children. They are to be assembled in the Temple and addressed by the King.8 In our time, the latter can only come about when, in the near future the Moshiach, who will be our king, will rebuild the Temple.

Whenever any army is faced with a new and special task which must be speedily accomplished, it takes in new reserves, new soldiers, in addition to those it previously had. Similarly, in regard to G‑d’s army,9 in order to hasten the victory and bring Moshiach speedily, in addition to all thee children that are enrolled in Tzivos Hashem and all of those of the previous generations, G‑d sends new reserves and new soldiers, new Jewish children, boys and girls to learn Torah and fulfill Mitzvos, the latter being the weapons of G‑d’s army. This will accomplish, in the fastest way possible, the task which G‑d has assigned to our generation, particularly in this year, a Hakhel year, bringing about the Messianic redemption Now.

This is the task and the mission of each and every one of you, and of every Jewish child, boy or girl, wherever they are found, for wherever they are found they carry on the legacy of sons of Avraham, Yitzchok, and Ya’akov and daughters of Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah. They must involve themselves in Tzivos Hashem using its weapons: the study of Torah and the fulfillment of Mitzvos. In this manner, we will successfully carry out the special mission of our age which, according to all the signs given in the tractate of Sotah, includes the final days of Golus. We will put an end to the darkness of Golus and bring about the true and complete redemption led by Moshiach.

Previously it was explained that when an army is given a specific task to accomplish, it takes in new soldiers. The parallel to this concept in Tzivos Hashem must be understood with one point of difference. Normally in an army, each new task requires new weapons. In Tzivos Hashem, originally G‑d gave us weapons that will always be effective. The same weapons, Torah and Mitzvos as applied in our daily lives, that will bring about victory in our generation, brought about victory in previous generations. Moshe received the Torah, these weapons, on Mt. Sinai and gave it over to the Jewish people in every generation. Furthermore, “the Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Ya’akov.” The Torah comes10 to every Jew as an inheritance.11 The Torah and Mitzvos as applied in everyday life are eternal and will for all time bring about victory in the war against the Yetzer Horah, the latter constituting victory in the war against Golus, and then bring about the coming of Moshiach.

New reserves, new soldiers are necessary to hasten the coming of the above and strengthen the members of Tzivos Hashem. The study of Torah and the fulfillment of Mitzvos carried out by Tzivos Hashem until now “will never be negated.” The Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya that the unity established through Torah and Mitzvos “is eternal forever, in the spiritual realms.” Thus, the merit it brings about is eternal. However, in addition, G‑d asks of us and generates the potential for new souls to be born who will become members of Tzivos Hashem. The latter refers to each and every one of you, and each one of you, and each and every Jewish child in the world, for every Jewish child should become part of Tzivos Hashem.

These new soldiers will use the same weapons, Torah and Mitzvos. They will surely succeed in conquering the Yetzer Horah and bringing about their victory immediately. Then “Israel (beginning with the Jewish children) will do Teshuvah and they will be immediately redeemed.” “Even though Moshiach delays,”12 he is being held back for a few months, hours, days, etc., we hope for his coming the “entire day” and ask G‑d that he may come Now.

3. There exists another great difference between Tzivos Hashem and other armies, in addition to the fundamental distinguishing characteristic mentioned above. This difference is expressed by the Mitzvah which is connected with the holiday of that war, i.e., lighting Chanukah candles,13 generating light.

This differentiates the manner in which Tzivos Hashem achieves victory in contrast to other armies. Rather than through fighting, or other less gentile means, Tzivos Hashem achieves victory by generating light, the “light of Torah and the candle of Mitzvah.”14 The above is accomplished through studying Torah in a manner which illuminates and shows the way15 for one to act in one’s everyday behavior and fulfilling Mitzvos, each one of them being a candle. This quality is further emphasized in the holiday of Chanukah whose central aspect is generating light. Furthermore, the menorah is placed “at the entrance to one’s house on the outside” in a manner that will illuminate both the house and its surroundings. Even though “darkness will cover the earth,” we are faced with the darkness of exile, through “the light of Torah and the candle of Mitzvah,” a Jew has the power to generate light.

When we have this light, no other weapons are necessary to carry out the war.16 This light will help the Jewish children overcome the darkness and all the other undesirable influences that are connected with exile and the Yetzer Horah and bring about the Messianic redemption. The weapons of Tzivos Hashem, in contrast to those of other armies, is light, “the light of Torah and the candle of Mitzvah.” This will drive away the darkness of exile and lead to the radiance of “the scion of Dovid, Your servant.”

There is a lesson which each and every member of Tzivos Hashem can glean from Chanukah. Each night of Chanukah, we add a new candle. Even though the previous night, we carried out the Mitzvah in the fullest and most complete manner possible, Mehadrin Min HaMehadrin, tonight another candle has to be lit, for “one must always proceed further in holy matters.”17

A parallel to this concept applies regarding our behavior. When we carry out G‑d’s mission and are actively involved in the work of Tzivos Hashem, we must realize that G‑d both commands and grants the potential for us to “proceed further in holy matters,” generating more light, each day according to the light that existed the day before. This course of behavior will lead to the time when G‑d will “show us the candles of Zion” and we will dedicate the third Temple.

The above is further emphasized by the Torah reading of the present day which described the offering of Nachshon ben Aminadav. Nachshon achieved renown as the first Jew who sprang into the Red Sea, carrying out G‑d’s mission, setting an example for the entire Jewish people, and bringing about the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea. Each of us should learn from his example and “spring into the sea,” i.e., plunge into Yiddishkeit without worrying about the questions and difficulties that may arise. This course of behavior will lead to the miracles of the Messianic redemption, may it come now, “at this time.”

4. As explained in previous gatherings of this nature, it is proper to join the three services Tefillah, Torah, and Tzedakah together. We have joined together in the Minchah service, a unique prayer.18 Then, we recited the 12 Torah verses and sayings of our Sages. To conclude with the Mitzvah of Tzedakah, all of the teachers and counselors will be given two coins of ten cents to give to each child from me. One should be given as Tzedakah, a great Mitzvah of which our Sages declared, “Tzedakah is great because it hastens the coming of the redemption” and the other as Chanukah gelt.

Each of you should work to influence other children to give Tzedakah, receive Chanukah gelt, study Torah and recite the prayers. May all the above lead to the revelation of how “though they continue a scheme, it will be foiled, conspire a plot, but it will not materialize, for G‑d is with us,” with each and every Jew. To emphasize this concept it is proper to sing again the song on that verse and likewise the song connected with the following verse in the siddur, “Indeed the righteous ...”

At the last parade of Tzivos Hashem, the present one was announced and each member of Tzivos Hashem was asked to prepare an account of what he accomplished in the study of Torah and the fulfillment of Mitzvos to be handed in at that time. Each one should make smaller gatherings in his or her class, school, or club, but the next large gathering will be Tu B’Shvat, the new year of the trees. This is closely related to every Jew. Our Sages explained that the verse “Man is like the tree of the field” applies to every Jew, for a Jew grows in his Yiddishkeit and produces fruit: Torah and Mitzvos.

Similarly, each one should bring a report of his activities to that gathering, at which time awards will be given. May each one of you proceed and from being privates, go on to becoming officers and even generals in Tzivos Hashem. This will lead to the time when Moshiach, the greatest general, the King from the line of Dovid, will fight the wars of G‑d and be victorious, and then rebuild the Temple in its place and gather in the exiles of Israel, and then “the Kingship will be the L‑rd’s.”