[The Rebbe asked the children to sing the Niggun “Hoshioh es Amecha (‘help your people’). Then they recited the “12 verses from the Torah and Sayings of our Sages.]

1. Our sages tell us that “In every generation (and every day) a person must look upon himself as if he personally had gone out of Egypt (today).” This is especially important now in the month of Nissan, the month in which we were redeemed from Egypt, and even more so today, Rosh Chodesh Nissan. For the word Rosh Chodesh means the head of the month, and; just as a head directs the body, so too, on Rosh Chodesh, we make decisions that guide our behavior in the entire month to come. Therefore, on Rosh Chodesh Nissan the obligation to look upon ourselves as if we personally have gone out of Egypt (today) is even more powerful.

2. When viewing ourselves as being part of the Exodus, we must ask ourselves; how did Yetzias Mitzrayim come about? What did the Jews do to prepare for and deserve the redemption?

To understand this we must recall what happened two weeks before the redemption. On Rosh Chodesh Nissan, G‑d commanded the Jews to begin preparing to go out of Egypt: to take upon themselves the fulfillment of G‑d’s commandments even while still in Egypt, and especially the commandment of the Pesach sacrifice. As soon as Moshe spoke to them, all the Jews accepted G‑d’s command. The Jews carried out their decision, and at midnight of the 15th of Nissan, while they were fulfilling the Mitzvah of the Pesach sacrifice, G‑d redeemed them.

3. In preparing for the redemption, the children played a special role. They carried out all the commandments, and specifically the commandment of the Pesach sacrifice with even more warmth and feeling than the adults.

After the Jews left Egypt, when G‑d split the Red Sea and revealed Himself to them, on the seventh day of Pesach, the children were the first to recognize Him. Their recognition was even greater and more powerful than that of the adults. Why did they merit to recognize G‑d first? Because in Egypt, they excelled in preparation for the redemption, accepting G‑d’s commandments and eagerly fulfilling them.

4. Since we are required to imagine that (today) we have gone out of Egypt, we must resolve that beginning today, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, we will follow the example of our ancestors — and prepare for the Pesach holiday as they did.

Children today should do this with the same warmth and strength that they showed at that time, so that very soon, when Moshiach comes, they will again be the first to recognize G‑d.

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5. What is the practical lesson Jewish children should follow in order to prepare themselves for Pesach?

Today, and in the following days, every boy and girl should approach his (or her) parents and with the proper respect request of them to take upon themselves the fulfillment of G‑d’s commandments; to prepare themselves for Pesach, and carry out all the commandments connected with searching out, destroying and selling the Chometz. They should try to make the holiday a kosher and happy one; beginning with the Seder on the first night. Each child should also request of his parents that they encourage their friends to do the same.

6. In addition to encouraging their parents, children must do their share in preparing for Pesach by studying the laws of Pesach and the Mah Nishtanah, so that at the Seder they will be able to ask the questions and listen to their father’s reply. Also, they should promise to help their parents in the preparation for Pesach.

Children should also encourage their friends to do likewise, in the spirit of “Love your fellowman as yourself.”

By doing all the above, children will make this Pesach a more Kosher and a happier festival than ever before, and they will feel the Pesach spirit throughout the year.

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7. The Torah tells us about another special event that took place on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. On this day, the Mishkan (sanctuary) was erected. The preparation for the building of the Mishkan began while the Jews were still in Egypt. When Ya’akov came to Egypt he planted trees, and told his children that they should take along the wood from these trees when they leave Egypt to be used for the boards of the Mishkan. In the same way, all the other things used to build the Mishkan; the gold, silver, brass, etc. were prepared in Egypt. In this too, children played a special role, as our sages tell us even children younger than Bar-Mitzvah and Bas-Mitzvah age contributed towards the building of the Mishkan.

8. The lesson we learn from this is: Just as the Jews began preparing for the Mishkan while still in Egypt, so too must we even while in exile, begin preparing for the third Bais Hamikdosh which will be built when Moshiach will redeem us from this exile.

How can we prepare for the third Bais Hamikdosh? The Torah tells us that the Bais Hamikdosh will be similar to the original Mishkan. The word Mishkan means a “dwelling place,” a place where G‑d(‘s presence) dwelled. We must make our homes a dwelling-place for G‑d by seeing that everything in the home is done according to His will.

This lesson applies to everyone in the home, adults as well as children. However, it has a special connection to Jewish children. They were the first ones to declare at the parting of the Red Sea “This is my G‑d and I will make Him beautiful” thereby showing that they feel a close relationship with G‑d, and they want everything related to G‑dliness done “beautifully.” Therefore, they will surely try very hard to make their homes a beautiful and perfect Mishkan.

9. A further point with regard to Rosh Chodesh Nissan:

The Torah relates, that when the Mishkan was erected, the leaders of the tribes offered special sacrifices, each leader on a different day. On the first day, which was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Nachshon ben Aminadav the leader of the tribe of Yehudah, offered his sacrifice.

Nachshon taught a very important lesson to the Jews. After they left Egypt, the Egyptians pursued them. They caught up to them and surrounded them while they were camped before the Red Sea. Many of the Jews were frightened. However, Nachshon was not afraid. When he heard that G‑d had commanded the Jews to journey onward, he jumped into the sea and then the sea split. Thus, Nachshon showed the Jews that they need never be afraid as long as they follow G‑d’s will.

10. Today, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, we must resolve to follow Nachshon’s example. Although we are in exile, and there may be difficulties that prevent us from performing G‑d’s will, we must overcome them. From Rosh Chodesh Nissan on, we must begin to prepare for the redemption, we do so despite the difficulties in our path. We must prepare to bring a “Pesach sacrifice” — i.e. to sacrifice those things that G‑d wants us to make holy. By doing so, we will merit to “eat,” and receive benefit from that sacrifice, for G‑d will provide us with all that we need for our well-being both physically and spiritually.

11. By conducting themselves in this way, Jewish children will become part of “G‑d’s army,” and the children will enlist their parents in this army as it is written “and He will return the hearts of fathers to (—through) the sons.”

12. By doing our part in fulfilling the Torah, we will go greet Moshiach with our children leading the way. Moshiach will take each and every Jew out of Galus — bringing about Shleimus ho’Om — a complete Jewish nation. Not one Jew will remain in Galus. And he will lead us to the Holy land — thus bringing about Shleimus Ho’Oretz. The land of Israel will be complete and belong entirely to the Jewish people. This will be accomplished through the efforts of each of you and every single Jew in Shleimus haTorah — completely fulfilling the Torah, studying the Torah and carrying out its Mitzvos. This will bring the true and complete redemption led by Moshiach, speedily in our days.

13. The Mishnah teaches that the world stands on three pillars — Torah, Avodah (prayer), and Gemilus Chassodim (deeds of kindness). We just finished the afternoon service — the pillar of prayer, and we recited the 12 verses from the Torah and Sayings of our Sages — the pillar of Torah (including both Torah She’b’ksav and Torah She’ba’alpeh). Therefore it is fitting to add the third pillar — deeds of kindness — through giving Tzedakah.

14. Since, as we spoke before, “the children recognized first,” it is fitting that they, the boys and the girls, be the ones who give Tzedakah. If it is possible they should give Tzedakah on this special day, Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Therefore, each child will be given a coin which they, in turn, should give to Tzedakah before they leave this holy place, the shul. Then the three pillars: Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chassodim alluded to in the verse “Zion will be redeemed with judgment, and those who return to her with Tzedakah,” will hasten the coming of the true and complete redemption, led by Moshiach.

The Rebbe Shlita mentioned that there are Tzedakah pushkas available so that the children could make their gifts immediately. The Rebbe gave each boy and afterwards each girl a dime to give to Tzedakah.