The 12th of Sivan is the last of the days of tashlumin. In these days following Shavuos, one has the opportunity to make up for anything which should have, but was not, done on Shavuos.
Tashlumin actually has two translations. The first is, as mentioned above, "replacing," or "making up" (from the word tashlum), for what was previously missing.
There is another meaning for this word, stemming from the word, shleimus, or "completion." These two translations are quite different. According to the first, what one does during these days is a mere replacement for what should have been done earlier. The most that can be accomplished is that the previous lack is fulfilled.
When we say that these days present an opportunity for shleimus, however, we mean that at this time one can accomplish even more than was possible before. Therefore, even someone who did everything possible on Shavuos still has the chance to reach an even greater level during these days of tashlumin.
These two meanings can be compared to the charity given to a poor person and to a wealthy person. A poor person needs money in order to "fulfill his lacking," and obtain the basic necessities of life. The wealthy person doesn't need this, but still could use extra money in order to reach financial completion and perfection.
Similarly tashlumin has the ability to fill in what was lacking and add even more.
This shows the tremendous love of Hashem for the Jewish people. The very fact that we have been given Torah and mitzvos, giving us the opportunity to come close to Hashem, is due to His love. When we are, for whatever reason, lacking something in Torah and mitzvos, and He gives us the opportunity to make up for it, this shows an even deeper love. The days of tashlumin, which enable us to do even more -- to reach a higher state of perfection -- represent an even greater manifestation of Hashem's love for His people.
Today, the final day of tashlumin, has a special advantage over the other days. This can be understood in context of a verse in this week's Torah portion, which states that the tribe of Dan traveled last in the procession in the desert. The verse says that Dan, "collected for all the camps," which means, as Rashi explains, that they would collect various objects which had been lost by the other tribes and return them.
Similarly, the final day of tashlumin performs a similar function. Tashlumin in general compensates for Shavuos, and the 12th of Sivan does the same for the previous days of tashlumin. In other words, the "compensation" and "perfection" which were not achieved during the previous days of tashlumin can be accomplished, and brought to a higher state of perfection, on this day.
This culmination of Shavuos, "the time the Torah was given," should have its effect the entire year, leading us to fulfill all of the good resolutions we made on Shavuos regarding Torah. This should be manifested in the realm of action, and not left in the realm of good intentions.
The importance of action is stressed by our Sages, and can be seen from the conduct of the Baal Shem Tov, who would first make sure that he did another Jew a concrete physical favor, and then afterwards, a spiritual favor. Although we cannot compare ourselves to the Baal Shem Tov, nevertheless, after he has cleared the path for us, we can emulate his behavior, and do concrete favors for our fellow Jews.
The connection between the 12th of Sivan and Mattan Torah is also evident from the daily portion of Psalms, which contains Ch. 68. This chapter contains numerous references to Mattan Torah, both according to the simple meaning and according to the explanation of our Sages.
We read this chapter on the 12th day of every month (not only Sivan), indicating that the lesson is not unique to the 12th of Sivan. Therefore on the 12th of each month we receive a renewal of the lesson of Mattan Torah. However, the main connection of this chapter to Mattan Torah is in the month of Sivan, and through it comes its connection with the 12th day of the other months.
A further lesson can be derived from the fact that the 12th of Sivan falls out this year on Tuesday, the third day of the week. Regarding Tuesday, the Torah states twice that it was "good," meaning that it was good both "to the heavens and among the creations." On that day, peace was achieved in the earthly and in the heavenly realms.
Peace is also the central idea of the Torah, as the Rambam puts it, "The Torah was given to make peace in the world."
In practical terms, this means that we should not be satisfied with making peace "in the heavens," i.e. yourself learning Torah. One must go beyond that and make peace "among the creations," teaching Torah to others as well.
This is similar to the lesson from the Torah portion Beha'alosecha, which begins with the instructions to Aharon regarding lighting the menorah. He is told that the wicks must be lit "until they burn by themselves," and are self-sufficient.
The seven branches of the menorah are compared in Chassidic works to the seven categories of Jewish souls. Each Jewish soul must be "lit up" with Torah and mitzvos, to the extent that it is self-sufficient and, furthermore, goes on to light others as well.
An additional lesson can be drawn from the daily portion of Chumash, which deals with Pesach Sheni. The Jews who were unable to bring the Pesach offering cried out, lamah nigorah ("Why should we lose out!"), and were rewarded with a new mitzvah, that of bringing a Pesach offering one month after the regular time.
This shows the ability of a Jew to bring about an innovation in mitzvos. Similarly, each and every Jew is obligated to innovate ideas in Torah (as explained in the laws of Talmud Torah); not only to learn what has already been written, but to develop new ideas of his own.
One might ask: when learning something already written by reliable sources, such as rishonim and acharonim, one is sure to learn true words of Torah. But when innovating one's own ideas, how can one be sure that the ideas are true?! Even in Talmudic times, it was said, "If our ancestors were angels, we are mere mortals, and if they were mortals, we are donkeys"! Where does that leave us, one might ask?
This is the lesson from Pesach Sheni -- a Jew can cry out, lamah nigorah, in the innovation of new ideas in Torah. Since the Torah requires this from him, and (the decline of the generations notwithstanding) he also has a G-dly soul, he certainly has the ability to himself innovate. Through reenacting the events of Pesach Sheni, "demanding" the opportunity from Hashem, and then exerting himself in Torah study, he will certainly be successful.
Earlier today, in the sicha to members of Tzivos Hashem, we discussed the portion of Psalms for the 11th of the month. In kodshim (holy matters), the night can be considered a continuation of the previous day, rather than the beginning of the next day, so it is proper to carry on the discussion we began previously.
Psalm 60:6 states, "You have given a banner to those who fear You, to elevate them." The Hebrew word for banner (nes) is derived from the word "uplifted." It therefore refers to the Torah, which uplifts the Jewish people, referred to here as "those who fear You." The verse therefore describes the giving of the Torah, which elevates the Jew and unites him with his Creator.
The verse repeats this word in its verbal form, l'hisnoseis, "to elevate them." This indicates a further ascent, to the extent that one is elevated above worldly boundaries.
This level is similar to that described in the Talmud, that when a Jew "does the will of Hashem," then his work is "done through others," leaving him free to learn more Torah. This is the level indicated in this verse -- as a result of Mattan Torah, the Jewish people were elevated above the world, to the extent that they actually rule over nature.
This is related in the Talmud Yerushalmi, which says that the decision of the Jewish court actually determines physical reality down below.
There is actually an even higher level, where one is so far above the world, that even the work done by others is unnecessary. This level was exhibited by the Rashbi who, the Midrash describes, saw that his students were worried about making a livelihood. He promptly took them out to a valley, where he proclaimed, "Valley, valley, fill up with golden coins!" This miraculously occurred, showing the students that when they learn Torah properly, a mere utterance, "valley, valley" is sufficient, and they have no need for work whatsoever -- not even through others.
This shows the extent to which Torah rules over the universe. Although, according to the laws of nature, one must certainly work, being fully connected with Torah overrides these boundaries. Even the lowest parts of the creation are affected, as indicated by the fact that the Rashbi accomplished this in a valley (rather than a mountain, which would symbolize the higher aspects of the universe).
There is a lesson to be derived for all three levels described above -- working yourself, others working for you, no need for work whatsoever. When one connects himself with the Torah as the Rashbi did, he is raised above all earthly boundaries, and his parnasah comes without any effort -- even on the part of others.
Should a person be unable to reach such a lofty level, he can still "do Hashem's will," elevating him to the extent that he himself must do nothing; his work will be "done through others."
If one has not yet reached this level of "doing Hashem's will," one still has the obligation and ability to establish set times for Torah study, without worrying that this will disturb his financial status. He realizes that the Torah is "our life," and actually increases parnasah, and it is therefore impossible that adding in something which is the source of blessings should itself prevent blessings!
This idea is related to an alternate translation of the word nes, related to the word nisayon, or trial. Rashi explains that Hashem "tests" a person in order to determine whether he really fears Him. This occurs when the Evil Impulse tries to steer the person away from Torah study, claiming that additional study will adversely affect his livelihood. When a person passes this test, he is elevated above worldly boundaries, as related in the other translation of nes mentioned above.
The Psalm continues by saying, "That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me." This verse speaks of Hashem's "beloved ones," the Jewish people, and how they are delivered from the throes of Exile. This is done with Hashem's "right hand," indicating kindness and mercy, as he will finally "answer" our prayers with the arrival of Moshiach.
Now, at the close of the days of tashlumin, it is proper to once again encourage everyone to add on in Torah study and in proper fulfillment of mitzvos, beginning with the 10 Mitzvah Campaigns.
The Education Campaign is of special importance at this time, as we stand on the threshold of the summer. One should do everything possible (and even more than is possible!) to ensure that every Jewish child is enrolled in a camp which will provide an authentic Jewish environment 24 hours a day.
We have mentioned many times that the summer is a specially auspicious time for Jewish education, because at these times there are no governmental rules requiring secular study. The rest of the year, one must do everything possible to minimize such study, and maximize the time for Torah. Certainly the summer presents a ripe opportunity for full devotion to Torah study.
In connection with this idea of education, everyone should do everything in their power to encourage the enactment of a Moment of Silence in the public schools, as we have discussed many times on recent occasions.
We will conclude with the distribution of tzedakah to everyone present. May it hasten the arrival of Moshiach, as our Sages say, "Great is tzedakah, which brings closer the redemption."
Doing things in a joyful manner has a tremendous effect. This is evident from the verse which says that the punishments of exile came, "because you did not serve Hashem with joy." Additional joy therefore nullifies the exile.
We will therefore conclude with joyful songs, to accompany our firm resolutions to constantly strive higher and higher in matters of holiness.
As mentioned Erev Shavuos, Hashem gave the Torah from above in a manner of lechatchilah ariber. It is therefore proper to sing this niggun. However, since we desire the redemption in a manner of lechatchilah ariber, we will sing the niggun, sheyiboneh beis hamikdash first, even before lechatchilah ariber.