1. This gathering, held between Purim and Pesach, has a special association with Jewish children (Tzivos Hashem) — for the unity of Jewish children has special emphasis on Purim and Pesach. The redemption of Purim came about through children: when Haman issued his evil decree, it was the gathering together of Jewish children and their Torah study and prayers to G-d which caused G-d to annul the calamitous decree. Then “for the Jews there was light and joy, happiness and honor,” extending also to the days following Purim, when all nations began to honor the Jewish people. Every year, the concept of Purim is repeated, and since the story of the Megillah is a part of Torah — Torah meaning instruction — it teaches us that when Jewish children gather together and learn Torah and pray to G-d, G-d fulfills all their requests. In addition to the blessing they receive, G-d also blesses the Jewish people in general, beginning with their parents and teachers.
Likewise with Pesach. Our Sages tell us that before the exodus from Egypt, Jews educated their children such that, through their conduct being consonant with G-d’s directives, they were completely permeated with G-dliness. This was to the extent that at the miracle of the splitting of the sea, “they (the children) recognized Him first. Thus, when celebrating Pesach every year, it is the children who, at the very beginning of the Seder, ask the “four questions,” and request an answer to their inquiries. The entire Seder revolves around the children — boys and girls.
In these days prior to Pesach, the children of Tzivos Hashem should do special things as a preparation to Pesach. The Haggadah enumerates four types of sons — the “wise” son, and three others of lesser caliber. Every child of Tzivos Hashem is certainly in the category of the “wise” son. But there are children who as yet are not, and it is the special duty of children who are in the category of the “wise”11wise” son to influence them also to become “wise.” This mission must be accomplished before Pesach so that when Pesach arrives, all Jewish children will be in the category of the “wise” son. Hence this gathering of Tzivos Hashem is held before Pesach, so that the appropriate resolutions may be made in this effort. Such effort must be with enthusiasm and joy — just as Purim emphasizes “light and joy,” and Pesach is a “time of rejoicing.”
May it be G-d’s will that through such efforts all children become part of Tzivos Hashem, and influence their parents and Jewry in general to increase in all matters of Judaism. when all Jews conduct themselves according to G-d’s commands in regard to Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvos, we merit that Mashiach should come now and take all of us out of exile, with Jewish children at the forefront. Then we will merit to celebrate Pesach in our holy city of Yerushalayim, in our holy land.
2. There are many days between Pesach and Purim, and by Divine Providence, this gathering is being held on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Consonant with the Baal Shem Tov’s dictum that everything can and should provide a lesson for one’s service to G-d, there is a special lesson to be learned from Rosh Chodesh in general, and Rosh Chodesh Nissan in particular.
Rosh Chodesh is the birth of the moon, every succeeding day seeing the moon wax greater and greater. Jews are “destined to be renewed like the moon,” and it is incumbent on every Jew to know that he is being given new strength and blessings from G-d so that he can ascend in matters of Judaism — just as the moon waxes greater each day. And when a Jew ascends in matters of Judaism, his life becomes illuminated with the light of Judaism, affecting his family and all Jewry.
This is connected with the redemption, for at the “sanctification of the moon” we say “Dovid king of Israel lives and exists” — and the redemption is associated with the House of Dovid. Notwithstanding the situation of Jews in exile, when they increase in a “candle which is a mitzvah and Torah which is light,” they effect and draw down the great and true light that will be in the true and complete redemption.
The idea of the redemption is emphasized even more strongly on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. When the Jews were in exile in Egypt, they were commanded on Rosh Chodesh Nissan about the Pesach sacrifice and the other matters of Pesach, together with the tidings about their deliverance from Egypt. On every Rosh Chodesh Nissan this strength in regards to the redemption is renewed — and in greater measure than on Rosh Chodesh of other months. Just as the Jews were informed on Rosh Chodesh Nissan of their imminent deliverance from exile in Egypt, “so may it be with us” — that on this Rosh Chodesh Nissan all Jews should be informed of the true and complete redemption.
In addition, when the Jews were in the desert, the Mishkan was dedicated on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and on that day the princes of (the tribes of) Israel brought special offerings. Besides the offerings brought by the individual princes on successive days (starting from Rosh Chodesh Nissan), on Rosh Chodesh Nissan itself, all the princes brought an offering together — “the princes offered their offerings.,, It was only after the princes had thus emphasized the essential unity of all Jews as “one people” that they brought their individual offerings.
On every Rosh Chodesh Nissan each year, each Jew has special strength to unite with all Jewry, all of them helping to erect the Mishkan and its general service. Afterwards, the individual service and mission of each Jew is performed.
This is the special lesson to be learned from Rosh Chodesh Nissan. First and foremost, each Jew’s service must be such that it is openly seen that he is part of the “one people,” and that each Jew takes a share in the building of the (general) sanctuary to G-d; then follows the individual service of each Jew.
For example, in regard to Jewish children, there are certain things applicable only to boys: wearing tzitzis, and preparations for putting on tefillin. Likewise, there are certain things applicable only to girls: kindling the Shabbos and Yom Tov lights. Involvement in these particular mitzvos follow after the uniting of Jews into “one people,” and simultaneously knowing that these actions add to the light of Judaism in all Jewry. Through this, the last days of exile are illuminated and made joyous, and become days of preparation to the true and complete redemption.
3. The “command of the hour” for Jewish children at this time is to help in the preparations for Pesach — to help clean the house of Chametz; and beforehand, to learn the laws of searching f or and destroying chametz, selling the chametz etc.; and likewise, the laws of Pesach itself. This is in addition to one’s daily Torah study and study of those things applicable to Shabbos, etc. Through this, each child will become “wise,” for they will know all the laws dealing with actual conduct. And of course, all the above should be done amidst “light and joy.”