(Recital of the Twelve Psukim and Sayings of Our Sages).


It is good to meet each year at the conclusion of the camping season of Camp “Gan Israel” —

And included are all campers of all “Gan Israel” camps, in all countries and places. They, too, are present here at this gathering — because we include them in our minds.

For, as was mentioned earlier by the Camp leaders (in the name of the entire Administration), when you concentrate your minds on a Torah subject that had been learned by heart by all campers everywhere, the Torah unites all into one and the same entity.

In other words, despite the differences among individuals, and despite also the distance in place, all are united together,

Since the distance of place applies only to the body, whereas the soul —which is not limited in (time and) place — is not really affected by these physical differences.

It follows, therefore, that when Jews unite themselves through the Torah, thereby showing that their Jewish soul is their real self, while the body is subordinate to it, there is nothing that really separates one Jew from another.

And so the Alter Rebbe explains that when Jews put their soul above their body, it is indeed possible to fulfill the Mitzvah of v’ohavto lre’acho komocho —to love another Jew as one loves one’s self — truthfully, since the souls of all Jews are united in G‑d, their one and the same Heavenly Father.

In the same way we are all united with all the campers of “Gan Israel” camps everywhere, so that they, too, share in all that has been said here earlier, and in what is being said now, as well as later at this gathering.


We say in our prayers, “Bless us, Father, all of us as one.” By uniting ourselves together, “all of us as one,” we bring down upon ourselves a greater measure of G‑d’s blessings than otherwise.

For, although G‑d blesses each and every Jew at all times, since G‑d declared that every Jew is “a branch of My planting, the work of My hands, in whom I take pride,” He bestows additional blessings, seeing that we are all united as one.


As mentioned earlier (II), the Torah unites all Jews together, without limitation in place and time. Similarly, G‑d’s blessings and benefits resulting from this unity are not limited in time. They extend over the entire year of 5739, and will be felt throughout the New Year — especially as our Rebbes emphasized many times that the month of Elul is the month in which Jews prepare themselves for the new year, and G‑d blesses us all, in the midst of all our Jewish people, with a good and blessed year.

* * *


In light of the above it is understandable that what was said on this occasion last year (which also took place in the month of Elul) has a bearing on this year’s gathering, as also in the years thereafter.

There is no need to repeat what was said last year (though to refresh the memory you will each be given a copy of the printed booklet of last year’s gathering). However, several points have to be added here,

For there is the instruction that “matters of holiness should be upgraded” — and as one becomes a year older, there must be an upgrading not only in the activities connected with the body, but, more importantly, in the activities connected with the soul, through which also the body benefits

As was pointed out in the letter (which was mentioned earlier), namely, that the health of the body is connected with the health of the soul, and for Jews the soul is the most important.


The purpose of mentioning here last year’s gathering is to remind you that the words spoken on that occasion have to be expressed in actual deeds (since “action is the essential thing”), that is to say, in the daily conduct and activities.

And your actions will benefit also the children of all other “Gan Israel” camps, as well as all Jewish children,

And through the children the influence spreads also to the parents and whole family — and then “all of us as one” is in the fullest measure, and the blessings of our Heavenly Father are also in the fullest measure.

* * *


The present month teaches us the following:

Each day of the entire month of Elul we say twice (once in the Morning prayer, at the beginning of the day, and the second time at Minchah, before the end of the day) the Psalm beginning with “G‑d is my light and my salvation,” a prayer which King David (“The Sweet Psalmist of Israel”) said for and in behalf of every Jew, for all generations and everywhere.

The words, “G‑d is my light and my salvation” mean that the Almighty illuminates the daily life of every Jew, and helps him out of all difficulties, to be able to live the kind of life that he should (which is not always easy).

Further on this prayer says, “to behold the pleasantness of G‑d and to visit His sanctuary,” that is to say, to feel the sweetness and goodness of G‑dliness, as though being in His very sanctuary.

The Psalm concludes with “Hope in G‑d” — that also in times and moments when one is engaged in other things, a Jew remembers and hopes in G‑d and puts his trust in Him, that He will always be “my light and my salvation” in every aspect of the daily life, each and every day of the year, year in and year out throughout the Jew’s entire life.


With the above in mind, a Jew serves G‑d with joy being always aware and confident that G‑d illuminates his path and helps him in his daily life.

This feeling is especially reinforced by remembering that “In the beginning G‑d created the heavens and the earth” (one of the Twelve Psukim and Sayings just recited), including everything that is in them, and that He is the Master in control of everything.

Therefore “Israel rejoices in His Maker” (another one of the Twelve Psukim and Sayings) — Jews rejoice in the knowledge that they have been created by G‑d, like the heavens and the earth;

And “G‑d rejoices in His works” — He is pleased and rejoices with the things He created, the Jewish people and the whole world.

And when G‑d rejoices, He showers blessings even more generously, and they come down wrapped in joy.


In this spirit we are now preparing ourselves for a joyous new year, starting our preparation with the last days of the outgoing year (the days of Elul), and extending its influence into all the days of the coming year.

Moreover, we remember, in particular, that the coming year is a Seventh Year, a Year of Shemitah, which is designated as “a Shabbos unto G‑d.”

For during such a year a Jew is in a Shabbos-like state — similar to that of Shabbos, when he is free from weekday matters and cares, and, in keeping with its spirit, “you shall call Shabbos a delight,” he engages and takes pleasure in matters that are truly delightful, namely, those that are directly connected with G‑d, and His Torah, and with Yiddishkeit.

These preparations which, as noted, already begin with the first day of the month of Elul, call for a firm resolve to conduct your daily life in the way mentioned above (including what was said last year, as quoted in the printed booklet), as well as to encourage other Jews around you to conduct themselves in like manner.


Having reviewed what the month of Elul teaches us, let us turn our attention to what this particular day of the week teaches us.

It has often been mentioned that the Torah section for each day of the week contains instructions for this day’s living.

In the section of Chumash relating to the second day of the Week of Tetze, there are a number of Psukim and Dinim (laws) that emphasize the subject of “Ahavas Yisroel”:

“You shall not see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely bring them back to your brother.”

Moreover, even “if your brother is not near to you, or you do not know him” the Torah obliges you to “bring it to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother require it, and you shall restore it to him” repeating again, “you may not hide yourself.” It is your duty to help your fellow Jew, and every Jew is your brother.


Implied in the above is also a deeper (spiritual) meaning:

When you see or hear that another Jew, young or old, has lost something, that is to say, he is missing something in his everyday life that makes his Jewish life not as complete as it should be,

You are told, “you cannot hide yourself.” Being a Jew, you simply cannot ignore, and not help, another Jew (because this is against Jewish nature), even if it concerns a Jew who is not close to you, or is even a complete stranger to you — but you will surely restore to him that which he had (temporarily) lost. Indeed, when you make him aware of his loss, he will demand that his lost thing be restored to him, for he will realize, and everyone will plainly see, that he is “a branch of My planting, the work of My hands, to take pride in,” a complete Jew.


In this way, the unity of Jews “all of us as one” becomes a reality not only through the unity of souls, but also through body and soul together, having helped the other to restore his Jewish conduct as it should be.

Which increases G‑d’s blessings still further, in the fullest measure of “bless us, Father, all of us as one,”

Including the main blessing — that the soul and body together will be taken out of the Golus by our Righteous Moshiach,

Who “will fight the battles of G‑d and will be victorious,” “G‑d’s battles” being the Jewish battles which Moshiach will fight and win completely with G‑d’s help.

And he will bring about, very soon indeed, the true and complete Geuloh of our Jewish people. We fervently pray that the next year be a Year of Geuloh in the plain sense.

* * *


However, inasmuch as we are as yet in Golus, the darkest and bleakest of all exiles, and we have not yet reached even the “beginning of the Geuloh” —

There is, of course, the persistent Yetzer Hora that tries to prevent, G‑d forbid, the unification of “all of us as one” in various ways:

He seeks to prevent Shleimus ho’Om, the wholeness of our Jewish people, by discouraging all-out effort to let no single Jew be lost, nor permit misrepresenting true Jewish identity by false and invalid conversions:

And the way he does it is by seeking to undermine Shleimus haTorah, the wholeness of the Torah that requires every Jew, and all Jews, especially Jewish children, to learn Torah and to live a complete Torah-true Jewish life;

And he also tries to undermine Shleimus ho’Oretz, the wholeness of our Holy Land, as if parts of it may be given away

And through all this he aims at prolonging the Golus, Heaven forbid! Sad to say, there are Jews who make a terrible mistake thinking that the wholeness of Eretz Yisroel can be tampered with, G‑d forbid,

Despite the fact that this is absolutely contrary to a clear ruling in the Shulchan Aruch, Hil. Shabbos, sec. 329(6).

Incidentally, in light of what has been said earlier (IX) about preparation for the coming year that is designated as “Shabbos unto G‑d,” it is even more urgent to be mindful of the Dinim that are connected with Shabbos,

Especially those that have to do, as in this case, with Pikuach Nefesh, to forestall danger and ensure the safety of even a single Jew, not to mention where it could endanger the security and safety of many Jews, G‑d forbid.

Yet there are those who, through distorted reasoning, at variance with the Torah, would sacrifice the wholeness of Eretz Yisroel. And, if the wholeness of a Din in Torah (especially a Din which is connected with Pikuach Nefesh) can be violated, it is not surprising that the wholeness of our land and the wholeness of our Jewish people could be violated as well.


In view of the above, our present gathering assumes even greater importance. For when Jews get together, as we are gathered here, especially with Jewish children of pre-Bar-Mitzvah age whose breath is the “breath of purity (free of sin),” and the gathering takes place in a holy place — a House of Prayer and a House of Torah, where Jews regularly pray and study Torah, their prayers are particularly acceptable.

Therefore, as we are gathered in this holy place, and we all proclaim loud and clear, “Utzu Eytzo Vesufor” — “Let them plan a scheme, but it will be nullified; let them say their word, but it will not be fulfilled, because G‑d is with us,”

It is certain that all ill-conceived plans and suggestions that are contrary to the above mentioned ruling of the Shulchan Aruch, Hil. Shabbos (and similarly all other ideas that run counter to Jewish Law) will become null and void,

Because “G‑d is with us,” and it is G‑d who decreed the said law in the Torah, and it is a law that He commanded to be publicized.

For G‑d also decreed in the Torah that when it is a matter of life, Pikuach Nefesh, no one should remain silent, nor must one wait until asked what the Din is; it is one’s duty to go out and proclaim that nothing must be given away that might endanger the safety of Jews.

And Jewish children have a special power to nullify all designs against our people and to accomplish it effectively and quickly,

Including the designs against the wholeness of land, the wholeness of our people, and the wholeness of our Torah, which are all linked together,

And to accomplish it in a manner of annulment, namely, that these designs have no effectiveness whatever to begin with.

Thus, “G‑d’s battles” that Moshiach will wage and win, will be the triumph of G‑d’s Shulchan Aruch, including sec. 329 of the Laws of Shabbos,

And all the enemies that surround the Land of Israel will recognize that there should be no more war; G‑d’s promise, “I shall give peace in the land” will be fulfilled, because Jews will follow the way of true peace

In the spirit of G‑d’s assurance, “I will make you walk upright” —through strong and steadfast adherence to the Torah, which declares that G‑d has given Eretz Yisroel to each and all Jews to be theirs forever.

And that it is “a desirable land,” a land which G‑d desires and holds precious,

And which also Jews desire and cherish. Jews cannot be satisfied, G‑d forbid, to live in Golus, though G‑d bestows His blessings, and quite considerable blessings, there also. This is why we pray three times daily, each and every day, “May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy,” praying and hoping each day for the Geuloh through our “Melech haMoshiach.”

When we will repossess Eretz Yisroel in its most complete state — Shleimus ho’Oretz, and we will learn Torah in a manner of completeness, with a deeper understanding of its profoundest truths, the Divine truth — Shleimus haTorah, and our Jewish people will be complete (including the lost Ten Tribes) — Shleimus ho’Om.


With the above in mind, it is fitting that we should sing once more the Posuk “Utzu Eytzo Vesufor,” and sing it joyously.

And to bring it “down to earth,” in a tangible way, every child will receive two coins (each of ten cents), one to be given to Tzedoko, and the other to be used personally in a Jewish way.

At the same time, everyone will be given the printed Booklet of last year’s Message. It will surely be treated respectfully, since it contains sentences of Torah.


This is a good time to resolve once again (and actually carry out the resolution) in connection with the good idea, explained more fully in previous years, that every Jewish child should have his (or her) own Siddur and Tzedoko Box.

By means of these two things it will be possible to have a share in all three things: Torah, Avodah (prayer), and Gemilus Chasodim (Tzedoko).

The Siddur contains the prayers recited in the House of Prayer, which represent Avodah, and it also contains sections from Torah, studied in the House of Learning; and the Tzedoko Box, into which you will put a coin now and then, will enable you to practice Gemilus Chasodim —

The Three Pillars upon which the world “stands,” and “exists” — both the “small world” of every person, and the big wide world, that it, too, behave as prescribed by the Torah,

Including the good resolve not to hinder Jews in matters of Yiddishkeit, but rather to make it easier for them to carry out their religious duties;

And likewise not to tamper with the wholeness of Eretz Yisroel, nor with anything that has to do with the true will (in Hebrew, eretz, “land,” and ratzon, “will,” have a common root) of a Jew (Yisroel), namely, the will to live Jewishly everywhere.

To return to the Siddur and the Tzedoko Box, the thing to do is this:

Those who already have them, should examine them to see if the Siddur is still in good condition, and if the box is in good condition, with coins in it, and to add some.

And those who, for some reason, still have no Siddur or Tzedoko Box, should obtain them as soon as possible.


Following the singing of the (Niggun-) Posuk, “Utzu Eytzo Vesufor,” the Shofar will be sounded in accordance with the Jewish custom of sounding the Shofar every day of Elul (except Shabbos and Erev Rosh Hashanah).

For, although this was done already this morning, it is possible that some of you have not heard the Shofar today.

And even those who did hear the Shofar, it will do them good to hear it a second time, for it will strengthen the effect of the sound of the Shofar, as a call to do Teshuvah, as well as a reminder of the Shofar that was heard at Mattan Torah, to strengthen still further our devotion to the Torah and its Mitzvos.

And after the sounding of the Shofar, let everyone call out in unison, “Leshono toivo tikoseiv vesechoseim!” — to bless every Jew, in the midst of all our Jewish people, in anticipation of the New Year, which is “Shabbos unto G‑d,” and in preparation for it, with joy and gladness of heart.

* * *

Everyone joined in the chanting of the Niggun “Utzu Eytzo Vesufor . . . Ki Imonu Keil.”

Then the Rebbe handed to the group leaders the printed booklets and coins, for distribution to the children, to each one booklet (Message to the children of Camp “Gan Israel,” of the First day of the Week of Shoftim, second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5738, in English translation) and two dimes, one for Tzedoko and the other to use as desired. The distribution was carried out immediately.

Then the Shofar was sounded — Tekio-Shevorim-Teruo-Tekio, TekioShevorim-Tekio, and Tekio-Teruo-Tekio.

Then all called out in a loud voice, “Leshono toivo tikoseiv vesechoseim!” This was followed, at the Rebbe’s request, by a loud call of “Leshono habo’o biYerusholayim!”

As the Rebbe was leaving, he began to chant, all present joining him: “Utzu Eytzo Vesufor . . . Ki Imonu Keil.”