1. In his Shulchan Aruch,1 the Alter Rebbe writes that from Rosh Chodesh Sivan on, Moshe began to prepare the Jewish people to receive the Torah — (Similarly, from G‑d’s standpoint — when he saw the perfect unity that the Jewish people achieved during their encampment by Mt. Sinai — He commented now is the time to give the Torah). The following day, Tuesday, G‑d told the Jewish people “You will be for me a Kingdom of priests.” On Wednesday, He ordered Moshe to transmit the command to set up boundaries to make sure no one would ascend Mt. Sinai. The next three days were spent in preparation for the giving of the Torah and on the third day, Shabbos, the Torah was given. Each of the six days made its own unique contribution and contained and maintained the contribution of the previous days.2

Tonight is the night3 between the second and third of Sivan. It is therefore fitting to carry out the service appropriate to these days. (as will be explained in section 2).

At this time (from Rosh Chodesh-12 Sivan), it is necessary for all of us to increase our study of Torah and our gifts of Tzedakah. The effects of these activities are very powerful. Tzedakah has the potential to take the place of fasting as a vehicle for averting harsh decrees. In fact Tzedakah is more powerful than fasting. Fasting works through deprivation — through “reducing our blood and fat.” Tzedakah4 on the other hand, makes a positive contribution — “Tov lashamayim” (good to heaven) “Tov labrios” (good to man). Also Tzedakah works to bring about the future redemption as the Talmud relates ‘Great is charity, in that it brings the redemption nearer.’5

The activities of learning more Torah and giving more Tzedakah are the proper preparation for the holiday of Shavuos. Through them we are able to fulfill the ‘Brocha’ given by the Previous Rebbe for Shavuos, that we receive the Torah with joy and inwardly.6 When a person studies Torah in such a manner, a true union is established between the Jewand Torah. The relationship is no longer a joining of two separate entities — the Jew dedicating himself to Torah —, instead he and Torah become one thing. This fusion is reflected by serving G‑d even when there is no explicit command, through knowing G‑d in all your ways” and directing “all your deeds for the sake of heaven.” How can we achieve this union? Through serving Hashem with joy, for “joy breaks down all barriers” — the barriers that separate our souls from our bodies, our innermost powers from our external ones.

In this campaign (Torah and Tzedakah), special attention should be paid to young children. They possess “a voice not tainted by sin” and as the Midrash relates “our children are our guarantors” (that we will keep the Torah).

To repeat for the sake of emphasis: The purpose of this Farbrengen is to motivate an increase in the study of Torah and the giving of Tzedakah. Special stress should be placed on engaging everyone, especially children, to participate in this campaign. May the campaign be carried out with true joy7 and continue through the 12th of Sivan8 and through these efforts may we receive the Torah with joy and inwardly.

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2. As mentioned above, directly after Rosh Chodesh Sivan, Moshe began to prepare the Jewish people for the giving of the Torah. Those events are of practical relevance for each Jew, for within all of our souls lies a spark from the soul of Moshe.9 Therefore, the series of events that transpired then apply to us in relation to our preparation for receiving the Torah each year.

On the second of Sivan, G‑d called the Jewish people a ‘Kingdom of Priests’ that term is very significant. The Talmud states “the King declares and uproots a mountain.” The term mountain alludes to the Yetzer Hora that appears as a mountain. A Jew can uproot his Yetzer Hora, using merely his power of speech.

(It isinteresting to note that the Talmud uses the phrase “uproots a mountain” and not destroy a mountain. The aim of Torah is not to destroy the Yetzer Hora, but to transform it. To love G‑d with both your hearts — both the Yetzer Hora and the Yetzer Tov.)

The term priest refers to someone who has no material concerns. In reference to the Levites, the Rambam writes “the phrase ‘G‑d is their portion’ was not said to the tribe of Levites alone but to every man who sets himself apart to stand before G‑d and serve Him. Behold he is sanctified holy of holies and G‑d will be his portion forever.”

There are those who interpret the phrase “Kingdom of Priests” as a reference to the level a high priest. Each Jew is potentially a high priest. What does that mean on a practical level? The high priest was distinguished by the fact that he was prohibited by Torah law from leaving Jerusalem. Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) is a combination of two Hebrew words, ‘Yirah Sholaim’ — complete fear. A Jew who would come to Yerushalayim and see the service in the Bais Hamikdosh would be instilled with fear of G‑d. This level of fear is attainable to every Jew. G‑d’s statement, “You will be a Kingdom of Priests” is both a request and a promise. The very utterance of these words affects our behavior and shapes our actions.10

On the third day, G‑d commanded Moshe to set up boundaries around Mt. Sinai. This event is also relevant to us on a personal level. We must realize that even after we have reached the level of “Kingdom of Priests,” we must know our limits — not to recklessly climb up the mountain. In Chassidic lore, stories are told explaining how it is necessary to know one’s limitations, not to reach for a level beyond our grasp.

In light of the above mentioned importance of children in the campaign to increase study of Torah and gifts to Tzedakah, it is appropriate that they all say L’chaim and join together in a happy niggun. This shall break down the last barriers of Golus and transform the darkness of Golus into light.

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3. When at the previous Farbrengen, I launched a campaign for an increase in Torah study and gifts to Tzedakah. I expected that the campaign would be publicized in a manner that would reach out to every Jew. I thought that advertisements would be placed in newspapers and that all communication media would be used. (There’s nothing wrong with using the media to spread Torah. Older Chassidim used to say that “the coming of Moshiach would be written in the newspapers.”)

When that publicity did not appear, I assumed that everyone was so busy occupying themselves with the increase they were making in their own service, that they had no time left to publicize the necessity for others to take similar steps.11

The purpose of this Farbrengen is to urge everyone to make a concentrated effort to publicize the campaign. Advertisements should be placed in the Yiddish papers, English papers, French papers, Spanish papers, Portuguese papers, (surely) Jewish papers, and even in the Russian papers. No attempt should be made to save money on either the size of the advertisement or it’s position in the paper.

Teachers and educators should pay special attention to involving their pupils in the campaign.12 There is no need to mention the person who initiated the campaign. If anonymity will bring greater results, than that path should be taken. What is most important is that action be taken.