Free translation of a Yechidut, 16th Day of Tammuz, 5744 (1984), (excerpt)

When Jews meet together and then part, each to return to his own place, it is important to know that only their bodies part while their souls, feelings and thought, remain united always, just as they were united when physically together.

The lofty nature of the unity engendered when Jews are together for a period of time is self-understood. It is only natural that when people who were previously separated meet in one place for a common purpose, the feeling of closeness and unity that occurs is much greater than that between people who are constantly together. Such unity is strengthened when during their stay together they meet in a synagogue and study-hall, a place where Jews pray to the “one G‑d” and learn the “one Torah.”

To ensure that the unity acquired during their stay together remains intact (and even increases) when each person is back at his home, it is necessary to strengthen and to increase in the concept of unity at the time of parting. This, as noted above, is accomplished by realizing that they part only physically, whereas their souls remain united always. Indeed, because each person resides in a different place solely to fulfill the common mission of all Jews — to make this world a dwelling place for G‑d — their separateness not only does not affect unity but unites them in their common goal, which each works at in his own place of residence.

The above is expressed by giving each of you a mission of tzedakah (as, please G‑d, I will give each of you a dollar to be given to tzedakah in your place of residence). Everyone is thereby united in this tzedakah-mission, especially since tzedakah is the idea of peace and unity — for by giving tzedakah, peace, friendship and unity is engendered between the giver and receiver of the tzedakah

Most importantly, each of you in your place of residence should increase in all aspects of the dissemination of Torah and mitzvos, particularly in tzedakah and deeds of loving kindness — both financially and with friendly encouragement. The friendly encouragement a Jew should extend to his fellow should be particularly in the reinforcement of the hope and certainty felt by every Jew that we are now in the last days of exile and we shall very soon leave exile to greet our righteous Mashiach. At that time Jews will be totally united, as written (Yirmeyahu 31:7), “A great congregation shall return here” — meaning, Jews will be assembled from all the corners of the world and will be united into a single entity (“congregation”).

Unity is emphasized particularly now, the period right after the 12th-13th of Tammuz, the days when the previous Rebbe was liberated from imprisonment. In a letter to the first celebration of the 12th-13th of Tammuz, the previous Rebbe writes: “G‑d did not redeem only me on the 12th of Tammuz, but also all those who hold our holy Torah dear, the observers of mitzvos, and also he who is a Jew but in name.” That is, the liberation of the previous Rebbe unites all Jews, for it was not just his individual liberation but that of all Jewry, even one who is a Jew only in name.

It should be noted, however, that there was only one liberation. There weren’t several liberations - one for the previous Rebbe, another for “those who hold our holy Torah dear, the observers of mitzvos,” and yet another for “he who is a Jew but in name.” Instead, there was one liberation for all: The previous Rebbe’s liberation was the liberation of every Jew.

Every year, on the 12th-13th of Tammuz, the original event is renewed and re-enacted with yet stronger enthusiasm, to be extended throughout the year. The unity between the previous Rebbe and every Jew should be recognized and felt on every day of the year, particularly the concept of liberation — meaning, one should help every Jew to be liberated from his personal exile (worries, etc.), from which we proceed to the general liberation of all Jews.

By Divine Providence we are gathered together on Monday of parshas Matos. The Alter Rebbe taught that Jews should “live” according to the lessons derived from the weekly parshah. It thus behooves us to derive a lesson from the section of the parshah learned today — the second section of parshas Matos — which stresses the idea of love and unity between Jews.

Chapter 31, verse 3 states: “Arm from among yourselves men ... to execute the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian.” The Alter Rebbe explains (and the Rebbeim who succeeded him elaborate) that “Midian” derives from the roots “Riv U’Madon,” which means quarrel and strife — i.e., contention and divisions between Jews, instead of unity.

He explains further that quarrel and strife is the source of evil, and permits deficiencies in Torah and mitzvos — the antithesis of the true, inner dimension of a Jew which is that “he wants to observe all the mitzvos.”

The command, “Arm from among yourselves men ... to execute the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian” means that every Jew must do everything in his power to abolish the idea of “Midian” and to bring about true love and unity between Jews — the basis of the whole Torah.

War against Midian, the abolition of strife and controversy between Jews, is important not just for Jews, but for G‑d too, for it is “the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian.” When a Jew works to get rid of controversy and to bring peace and unity he thereby fulfills G‑d’s mission of “to execute the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian.”

We learn a further lesson from the fact that in the war against Midian, “not a single man was lost” (31:49). Although the Jews were victorious in the other wars they waged, there were some casualties. In the war against Midian all Jewish soldiers returned safely. For this was a special war, “to execute the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian,” led by “Pinchas the son of Elazor HaKohen,” who had began to exact vengeance against Midian even earlier [by killing Cozbi the daughter of Tzur, a chieftain of Midian — see Rashi, 31:6.] He blazed the path of how a Jew should be ready to sacrifice himself for the good of Jewry.

We learn from this that when a Jew wars against Midian spiritually — abolishing controversy and effecting love and unity between Jews — he is granted special strength to fully carry out this mission with joy and gladness, and is given the assurance that he shall return whole (in body, soul and even financially) from this spiritual war — “not a single man was lost.”

Since the idea of “Arm from among yourselves men ... to execute the vengeance of the L‑rd on Midian” is a command and halachah concerning love and unity between Jews, all that we have said about it may serve as “a matter of halachah,” consonant to our Sages’ directive, “A man should part from his fellow only with a matter of halachah.”

Moreover, this halachah is “a great principle in Torah,” and even more, “It is the whole Torah and the rest of it is its interpretation; go and learn.” That is, everything a person does in deed, speech and thought (according to Torah), becomes the “interpretation” of the command to love and unite with one’s fellow Jew.

When, therefore, Jews part one from another with this matter of halachah, strength is granted for each Jew’s service in all aspects of Torah and mitzvos — which in general are love and unity between Jews.

Since love of a fellow Jew is the whole Torah, increasing in love and unity to another Jew face to face effects an increase in all aspects of Torah and mitzvos, — in general, the closeness between Jews and G‑d, face to face. Through this we merit that “The L‑rd make His countenance shine upon you” — meaning, G‑d’s countenance shines upon all Jews, until He brings the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach. Then all Jews shall leave exile, “with our youth and our elders, with our sons and our daughters,” — the whole people — taking with them the mitzvah of love and unity between Jews, and all other aspects of Torah and mitzvos — the whole Torah — and enter our Holy Land, “the land which the eyes of the L‑rd your G‑d are continually upon it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year” — the whole land, including that “the L‑rd your G‑d will broaden your borders.”