1. The children recited the 12 verses of the Torah and sayings of our sages.

2. Sivan is the third month, the month during which G‑d gave the Torah to the Jews when they left Egypt. Each year, during the month of Sivan, the same events repeat themselves. By reading in the Torah what happened then, we can recall and meditate on those events to the extent that we relive them.

The preparation for the giving of the Torah began on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. On that day, the Jewish people camped before Mt. Sinai. Similarly, every year, in order to receive the Torah on Shavuos, we must undertake a process of preparation similar in nature to that of the Jews in the desert.

3. Of the days of preparation for the giving of the Torah, the third of Sivan is unique. It is the first day of “the days of restriction.” On the second day of Sivan, the Jews promised, “We will do,” accepting upon themselves G‑d’s commandments. On the following day, G‑d told Moshe that the Jews should “wash their clothes” — a positive act — making the clothes (and obviously making the people who wear them) ready to receive the Torah. G‑d also commanded that the Jews should “Take heed to yourselves, that you do not go up to the mountain or touch it” — a negative act, one of holding oneself back.

4. It follows from the above that each year on the third of Sivan we must apply our preparation for the giving of the Torah to actual deed. Rosh Chodesh Sivan saw the beginning of the preparation for the giving of the Torah and on the second of Sivan, the Jews made the commitment “We will do,” promising to carry out G‑d’s will. The actual deeds of preparation, however, began on the third of Sivan. Hence, even though yesterday we already accepted upon ourselves a commitment that will affect our behavior in the coming days, nevertheless today, on the third of Sivan, we must actually begin carrying out this commitment in regard to the positive deeds that we must fulfill and those which we are prohibited to do.

5. These two movements — positive acts and prohibitions — are found in the service of all Jews, even children, at the very beginning of the day. The positive act is the recitation of Modeh Ani, immediately upon arising. The prohibition involves holding oneself back from doing anything or touching anything before one washes Negel Vasser.


6. There is another lesson from the giving of the Torah that is particularly applicable to the children. After the exodus from Egypt, the Jews waited with eager anticipation for the Torah, counting the days until G‑d would give it. When G‑d was ready to give the Torah to the Jews, He asked them for guarantors. The Jews offered different alternatives but they were not acceptable. When they declared: “Our children are our guarantors,” this was accepted by G‑d and He gave the Jews the Torah for all time.

7. The above event, the acceptance of the children as the guarantors for the giving of the Torah, repeats itself each year in the days before the giving of the Torah. When Jewish children, from an early age and upward, behave as the Torah demands, studying Torah and fulfilling Mitzvos, both the positive and negative commandments, their merit causes G‑d to give the Torah, His dearest possession, “a hidden treasure,” to every Jew, young and old, as an eternal inheritance, for all generations. Every Jewish child (beginning from the children assembled here and including Jewish children wherever they are found) must know that it is in his merit (which results from his good behavior) which causes G‑d to give the Torah to the entire Jewish people. Hence, each child has a tremendous responsibility to follow G‑d’s commandments as they are written down in the Torah knowing that the giving of the Torah depends on him.

8. When a child thinks deeply about this, realizing that G‑d trusts him with the Torah and relies upon him to protect it and furthermore, that, it is because of him that G‑d gives the Torah to the entire Jewish people, he will naturally feel great joy and satisfaction. This gives him the strength to face the challenge of being “the smallest of all the nations.” Even though in his city, there are less Jewish children than non-Jewish children, not only isn’t he intimidated by this, he is happy that G‑d has chosen the Jewish people from all the nations of the world and the Jewish children from within the Jewish people itself. By following G‑d’s will in his everyday life, a Jewish child brings about the giving of the Torah and all the accompanying blessings in all of our needs, particularly blessings for those things which are necessary for a Jew to live as a Jew should.

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9. Just as when G‑d gave the Torah, the Jewish children were the guarantors, they are now also guarantors because of whom G‑d will give the Torah to all Jews on Shavuos, the season of the giving of the Torah. Hence, it is proper that they go to their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers and tell them that since the Torah is given in their (children’s) merit, and thus, they are the most important guests, they would like to invite them (parents and grandparents) to participate in their festival and join them in hearing the Ten Commandments.

10. Furthermore, the children must assure their elders that they will not disturb them during the reading of the Torah, for they realize that the portion being read — the Ten Commandments — was given in their merit. On the contrary, the children will behave with respect in shul, listening to every word of the Ten Commandments with “awe and fear, trembling and sweating,” showing true fear of G‑d and His Torah.

By listening to the Ten Commandments in this way, the words of Torah will be engraved in the hearts and also in the minds of the children and through them engraved within their parents and grandparents with even greater intensity. Thus, the Ten Commandments, which includes within them the entire Torah, will become a part of our lives throughout the entire year, making the year a Torah year and a Mitzvah year. And (as then) the children will “recognize Him first.” They will lead the way, becoming a living example for their parents of how to study Torah with joy and inner feeling and how to fulfill Mitzvos with joy.

The first of the Mitzvos is “Love your fellowman as yourself” which is “a general principle of the Torah.” They will fulfill it by influencing their friends to follow in the same spirit and to study Torah with joy.

11. By behaving as G‑d desires and carrying out the prophecy of “He will turn the hearts of the fathers through the children” by strengthening the Yiddishkeit of one’s parents and grandparents, we will hasten the coming of Eliyahu, the herald of Moshiach. By making our homes fit to become a dwelling place for G‑d, one which everyone will recognize as a Jewish home and a place where G‑d’s presence rests, we will proceed to greet Moshiach and go with him in the true and complete redemption to our holy land, the land where the “eyes of the L‑rd, your G‑d, are always upon it, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year,” the land which G‑d watches over with special attention. G‑d, the “Guardian of Israel,” will neither slumber nor sleep, and will not allow anyone to infringe upon “Shleimus Ho’Oretz” the integrity of the holy land because there will be “Shleimus Ho’Om,” the integrity of the Jewish nation. The parents will stand together with their children together with Shleimus HaTorah — the Torah in all its entirety — for the entire Jewish people are prepared to fulfill the Torah completely. This will hasten Shleimus HaGeulah — the complete state of the redemption led by Moshiach.

12. Since it is necessary to enhance “Shleimus Ho’Om” the integrity of the Jewish nation — the joining together of parents and children with G‑d’s Torah (thus connecting them to G‑d Himself), we must also join together with the children who are behind the Iron Curtain, making ourselves one with them. Therefore, it is proper to communicate the main idea of what was spoken before in the language which is spoken by the children there. In this way, we will strengthen the bonds that unite each and every Jew. Wherever a Jew is, he belongs to the “one nation.” Even though we now in Golus and are “scattered among the nations,” this refers only to our physical state but in truth we are “one nation” and even non-Jews (even those who do not like Jews) recognize this and proclaim that the Jews belong to one nation.

13. Therefore, I will speak a few words in Russian describing the mission of Jewish children there, behind the Iron Curtain. Surely, these words will reach them and influence their behavior, particularly since there rights are guaranteed by Russian law, as emphasized in the previous farbrengen.

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[The next five sections are a translation of the remarks the Rebbe said in Russian.]

14. The request to every Jewish child behind the Iron Curtain, in Russia and in other countries, is that they should know that they belong to the Jewish people. This knowledge unites all the members of our people despite the fact that we are “spread out and scattered” throughout the nations. Wherever a Jew is, in whatever generation, place, or country, he belongs to the Jewish people. This national identity was established at Mt. Sinai, thousands of years ago. From then on, we are an eternal people, who share an eternal covenant with G‑d, the Master of the world. At Mt. Sinai, G‑d established a bond with every Jew, making him one with Torah and one with G‑d. This covenant will continue, without interruption, throughout all the generations. Therefore, wherever a Jew is, no matter where the place, he is connected with G‑d from the moment of birth until the last moment of his life.

15. The laws and constitutions of every country, including Russia and its satellites, America and its satellites, and all other countries throughout the world where there is justice allow every Jewish child to recite Modeh Ani as soon as he awakens in the morning. As soon as the child rises from sleep, before he speaks to his father or to his mother, before he begins busying himself with his affairs, he addresses G‑d, thanking Him, calling Him “a living and eternal King.” As soon as the child awakens, he knows that G‑d has returned his soul to him. He is permeated with faith in G‑d, a great and strong faith, as he declares “Your faithfulness is great.” This statement affects his behavior throughout the day.

Directly after reciting Modeh Ani, he washes Negel Vasser and begins praising G‑d by reciting the blessings, thanking Him for all the good he has in life. He realizes that all the good he receives comes from G‑d, his parents merely serving as G‑d’s emissaries.

16. As mentioned before, the laws and constitutions of all countries, (without exception,) guarantee that every Jewish boy and girl has the full right to begin his day be declaring his complete faith in G‑d who returned his soul to him. Directly afterwards, he fulfills G‑d’s commandments by washing Negel Vasser, thus adding purity to his life which allows him to make his day a pure day, filled with Yiddishkeit.

17. In addition, children have to influence their parents and grandparents that it should be recognizable in the whole house that this is a Jewish home. That each of the parents should begin their day by proclaiming Modeh Ani.

By each person in the home proclaiming Modeh Ani, this will bring about that in the house itself “the soul will be restored.” This is a house that has a soul and life in it, for it is connected with a pure faith in G‑d, who has returned the soul and gives life to the home and to everyone who dwells therein.

18. Fulfilling the above will add to the preparations for Shavuos, the day which we receive the Torah anew. This experience inspires us with renewed joy, new strength, and new energy. Since we receive the Torah anew, we must fulfill all of its Mitzvos in a renewed manner. This will hasten the true and complete redemption, the freedom from Golus for which we all hope, speedily in our days. Then, together with the entire Jewish people and all the Jewish children, wherever they are scattered throughout the world, we will return to the holy land, study Torah, and fulfill Mitzvos with happiness and satisfaction, speedily in our days.

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19. To conclude with another point that encompasses all of the above: Even though we are “scattered and spread out throughout the nations” and we therefore dress differently, eat different foods, and speak in different languages, nevertheless, these differences are only superficial, However, in regard to matters of the soul — which is in turn connected with Torah — we are one nation united throughout the world. We all receive the same Torah which is referred to as “the one Torah.” Although some will study Torah in Hebrew, some in Yiddish, some in English, Russian or other languages — nevertheless, it is the same Torah and the same Mitzvos. Similarly, in regard to food and clothing: Even though we may eat different foods and wear different clothes, we are united, for all the foods are kosher and all the clothes are free of Shatnes.

20. The unity of all Jews and all Jewish children begins at the start of each day, when one recites Modeh Ani. As soon as a child wakes up, before speaking to his father or mother, he addresses G‑d as if He is standing before him. He concludes his prayer with the statement “Your faithfulness is great” accepting the belief in G‑d for the entire day and applying it to all things he encounters. This causes G‑d — who is “faithful to pay one’s reward” — to fulfill all of His promises, bringing Moshiach speedily in our days.