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2nd Day Of Rosh Hashanah, 5746

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Sichos In English
Volume 28

Tzivos Hashem
4th Day Of Sukkos, 5746
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  2nd Night Of Sukkos, 57466th Night Of Sukkos, 5746  


All gatherings of Tzivos Hashem which take place during the year, in the same place and with a common purpose and goal, nevertheless have different "orders of the day," based on the particular theme of the day when they occur.

What is the "order of the day" for Tzivos Hashem on this fourth day of the Holiday of Sukkos, in line with the Torah reading of this day?

The lessons of Torah are eternal and always apply, as we plainly see that the 12 verses and Torah passages which you have just recited are drawn from various sources in Torah, and yet they apply every day!

However, there are additional teachings to be gleaned from Torah each day, for each day, as well as the "order of the day" for Tzivos Hashem.

Sukkos is called the Season of Our Rejoicing. The Alter Rebbe explains that the plural form "Our Rejoicing" refers to two joys: "The Jews should rejoice in their Maker," (Tehillim 149:2) and "May the L-rd delight in His works." (Ibid 104:24)

The children of Tzivos Hashem must be living examples of how one should fulfill G-d's commandments. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, the Commander-In-Chief of Tzivos Hashem, bestows upon the small children the ability to bring back to G-d the hearts of the adults:

He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children.... (Rashi: To G-d, through the children) (Malachi 3:24)

Therefore, the children have the role of setting a good example, which must be accompanied by joy and enthusiasm. For:

G-d stands over him and the whole world is full of His glory and He searches his mind and heart (to see) if he is serving Him as is fitting. (Tanya ch. 41)

When G-d will see that the young child serves G-d with joy there will be great joy on high. So there will be joy above and below. The power for this double joy comes from the Season of Our Rejoicing which represents the two aspects of Jewish joy and G-dly joy.

This year the fourth day of Sukkos falls on the 18th of Tishrei (today) which adds life (18=chai=life) to the whole month. Chai Tishrei will also have a beneficial affect on the whole year, to give more life and happiness to the fulfillment of the role of the members of Tzivos Hashem.

In the fifth reading section of the portion Berachah which we study today we read of the blessings bestowed on the tribes of Dan, Naftali and Asher, all from the camp of Dan, which was called the "gatherer of the camps," as Rashi explains: "If anyone lost anything they would return it."

Normally, every Jew must strive to develop his love and fear of G-d, which will enable him to serve G-d properly, joyously and enthusiastically. But, what happens if sometimes the evil inclination -- that foolish old king -- comes along and confuses a Jew, and he loses some of his joy or enthusiasm for mitzvos?

For this reason the tribes of Dan, Naftali and Asher gathered what was "lost" and returned it to the rightful owners in the other tribes. They therefore merited to receive the blessings mentioned in today's Chumash portion.

Members of Tzivos Hashem must impress upon others the importance of increased Torah observance, and in this manner they will help bring back some things which may have been lost!

When Tzivos Hashem makes a rally we are also gathering all the children together -- from different families, different countries, etc. As we just saw, the children who recited the 12 verses were from various countries. All the children have gathered in one place and at one time, to strengthen the role of Tzivos Hashem, and to encourage each child to be a "gatherer" of tribes in his/her own place.

In the continuing blessing to these three tribes, and to the entire Jewish Nation the Torah further says:

Your locks will be iron and copper: ...Their mighty men used to dwell in the border cities and locked the country so that the enemy should not be able to invade it, as though it were closely shut by locks and bars of iron and copper. (Rashi, Devorim 33:25)

The Holy One, Blessed be He, protects each and every child of Tzivos Hashem from any evil, and especially from the evil inclination, who sees that he cannot succeed and therefore is completely nullified.

The Torah continues:

He controls the heavens and His majesty is in the skies.

(Ibid. 33:26)

G-d controls the heavens and gives you assistance. And so, you, too, should aspire to rise to the level of "heavens" -- above worldliness.

Even when you are dealing with temporal objects you can draw down some heavenliness. So that when a Jew eats or drinks he must say a berachah first, which signifies that the good things come from G-d.

May it be G-d's will that each of you accepts these good resolutions in all that we have spoken. Practice "Love your neighbor as yourself," which is an important rule in Torah, and gather together other Jews and influence them to become faithful soldiers of Tzivos Hashem.

This will give G-d more joy, as well as the Jewish people, the children and the parents. For we will all see young children doing G-d's will with joy, and bringing others to join Tzivos Hashem.

In this way we will merit G-d's blessing in body and spirit. G-d created the world and programmed it to provide the reward for good deeds. By making these commitments, in this place of Torah, at this time, the role of Tzivos Hashem is guaranteed, and the "medals" and prizes which the Holy One, Blessed be He, gives to all the children of Tzivos Hashem, and their families, teachers and leaders will definitely be forthcoming, including the greatest prize and the greatest blessing of all, the ultimate redemption.

In today's portion of Rambam's Sefer Hamitzvos we study the commandment of the sanctity of the firstborn male humans and animals. The Torah says:

Consecrate to Me every firstborn...of man and of beast,

(Shemos 13:2)


You must consecrate to G-d every male firstborn among your cattle and flocks; (Devorim 15:19)

which the Sefer Hamitzvos explains:

...offer its fat and blood [on the altar], and eat what is left of its meat. (Positive Commandment 79)

In the negative commandments we also learned:

By this prohibition we are forbidden to eat an unblemished firstling outside Yerushalayim. It is contained in His words, "You may not eat within your gates...the firstling of your herd." (Negative Commandment 144)

Even small children who do not have a "firstling" may still learn an important lesson from this mitzvah. A bechor -- firstling -- symbolizes everything that comes first. The first must be made holy. The simplest and most fundamental example is when you wake up, the first thing must be, to do a holy act. So you say immediately:

I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me.... (Siddur)

As soon as the soul returns, rested and fresh, its first words and thoughts are directed to the King of the universe, the Holy One, Blessed be He.

Similarly, we learn that just as the firstling had to be eaten in Yerushalayim the Holy City, so, too, when the child prays to G-d in the morning his room and his house and all his surroundings must also be holy and consecrated like a Holy City.

When a child in Tzivos Hashem starts his day in this manner -- the rest of the day will be proper and fitting for a soldier of Tzivos Hashem.

In the study section of Mishnah Torah for today we can also find a lesson that even a small child will understand. There the Rambam says:

[The authorized person] may inspect any firstling [to see if it has a blemish] except his own firstling.

(Laws of Firstling 3:1)

Even young children can understand this important rule, that in matters of self-interest you cannot rely on your own decision for you might bribe yourself and not see the truth! So you must go to the impartial expert to judge the case.

For example, the yetzer hora may sometimes argue about some good tasty food, that it should not be checked out for Kashrus, and then, "Why say the blessing? -- just grab it and eat it!"

So we must realize that if you have some personal desire for it then you are bribed in this respect, and you may not be so careful. Therefore in such a case do not rely on yourself, ask your teacher or leader, Rabbi or wise expert, whether it is permissible! The Rambam also teaches that a bechor which belongs to Jewish partners is also included in the rules of "firstlings."

This teaches us that we must encourage and attract others to join us in making the "firsts" holy and similarly in all aspects of Torah and mitzvos.

At a gathering of Tzivos Hashem this point is more strongly emphasized, for you have gathered as "partners," in unity. At this opportunity you must think of the others, who are not here and whose parents and teachers have not trained them to start the day with "Modeh Ani." You must attract them and make them your partners in this mitzvah of dedicating the "firsts" to G-d. This is done with Ahavas Yisroel.

And may G-d grant that all the Jewish people will be partners in studying the Torah of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and in fulfilling His commandments and then we will be partners in all His blessings.

And especially the blessing of "A great company shall return here," (Yermiyahu 31:7)

with the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach and we will see the liberation of our youth and elders, sons and daughters.

In the Season of Our Rejoicing we should also increase happiness and enthusiasm and have a blessed year and a year of redemption which will come speedily and immediately.

As we do at all rallies, after praying Minchah and reciting the 12 verses of Torah, we will perform the mitzvah of tzedakah.

During the Season of Our Rejoicing it is important that we see to it that all our fellow Jews have the wherewithal to rejoice on the holiday. Through tzedakah, we can help these people, materially or spiritually, to celebrate the holiday with joy.

I will give each of you 3 coins, one for tzedakah, one for tzedakah connected to the holiday joy, and one to use as you wish. In your merit we will also give the grown-ups three coins through the "Tankists."

May G-d grant that through the three-fold cord of Torah, prayer and charity we will merit speedily to the Third Bais Hamikdosh, the eternal edifice, and the eternal liberation and the eternal joy.

We will also conclude with joyous songs. And may we merit to dwell in Eretz Yisroel, in the capital city, Yerushalayim, where the Third Bais Hamikdosh will be built, speedily and truly in our days, with gladness and joy.


The fifth day of the holiday of Sukkos begins this evening. At the same time, it is also the sixth day of the week.

What was unique about that first Friday of creation? On the sixth day of creation Adam, the first man, was created, which made the day itself special. But that Friday was also different from the other days of the creation week in that it stressed continuity. For, on the sixth day the Torah tells us that G-d reviewed all that he had wrought:

G-d saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. (Bereishis 1:31)

This refers to all things made during all the six days; and the sixth day evoked the approbation "very good" for all the creatures in existence.

Thus, the sixth day represents the summation of creation -- not just the continuity -- but the sum total! At the same time it also served as a day of preparation for the coming day. Being Erev (the eve of) Shabbos it takes the role of:

He who took trouble to prepare on the eve of the Shabbos can eat on the Shabbos. (Avodah Zorah 3a)

Chassidus explains that his toil and labor of Erev Shabbos become the food of Shabbos. This further underlines the importance of the sixth day as a precursor to the seventh day. These multiple qualities of Friday must also be expressed during Sukkos, relative to the themes of Sukkos and especially to the Simchas Bais Hashoevah, one of the most essential aspects of Sukkos.

The joy of Simchas Bais Hashoevah expresses itself in the pouring of the water. Normally, happiness is engendered by (pouring) wine; on Sukkos, the esoteric power of joy in the water is evoked by the pouring of the water, instead of the wine, on the Altar. Lasting for seven days, the holiday of Sukkos gives each day the role of carrying on from the past and transmitting to the future. And each day must increase its joy over the previous days and prepare for the greater joy of the following days. Now, when the fifth day of Sukkos also falls on Friday then this role is enhanced and invigorated.

One aspect of Sukkos is that it reveals, in the context of rejoicing, the aspects of Rosh Hashanah which remained hidden. Rosh Hashanah, of course, is the anniversary of the creation of man who was created by G-d on Friday of creation -- thus, Rosh Hashanah always recalls the Friday of creation. Now, when, during the week of Sukkos, we come to a Friday, it follows that the theme of Rosh Hashanah revealed at the Simchas Bais Hashoevah will be much more intense on the Friday, for it echoes the special connection Rosh Hashanah has with the first Friday of existence. Thus, the theme of rejoicing at the Simchas Bais Hashoevah on this night of Sukkos is greatly increased.

The portion that we read this week is V'Zos HaBerachah, which indicates the revelation of the blessings, and is also expressed in the joy of Sukkos and in the portion read on Friday -- the sixth reading section. We find the verse: "Happy are you (Ashrecha) Israel." (Devorim 33:29) In the word Ashrecha you will find the letters of Shir -- song -- the embodiment of joy.

The Torah section begins: "The Eternal G-d as a shelter above..." (Ibid.:27) and concludes with: "...and you shall crush their high altars underfoot," (Ibid.:29) both indicating rising higher and higher, and evoking more joy.

The purpose of this analysis of the ascending levels of joy is to motivate actual rejoicing, especially dancing. While we are speaking of the lofty joy of drawing water from the "wells of salvation," and how it is enhanced by the sixth day and its Torah reading, at the same time all these lofty aspects must descend and come down to earth in simple action -- dancing. After all, your legs dance, and the heels of your feet are the lowest part of the person; and this represents the unification of upper and lower. The mind activates the dancing feet and then the dancing feet raise the head even higher than before.

In today's Rambam section we find the law of tithing newborn kosher cattle in the section dealing with the Laws of Firstlings. Regarding this juxtaposition the Rambam had indicated:

And I have included tithe of cattle with firstlings since the procedure for them both is the same and Scripture has included them both together, for it is said: "And their blood you shall toss." (Bemidbar 18:17) From oral tradition it is learned that this refers to the blood of the tithe and the blood of the firstling.

(Rambam, Introduction to Laws Concerning Firstlings)

A careful scrutiny of this statement will underscore that the Rambam did not really explain why firstlings and cattle tithes are one subject, he only made reference to the verse. The same question applies to the verse, why does Scripture combine these two distinct mitzvos in one verse?

Further analysis will reveal that tithes and firstlings (ma'aser and bechor) really have opposite themes. Tithe is, after all, the part given at the end of the count; after counting ten (and tithing), we start another cycle of ten. In the grace after eating once ten men assemble there is no difference in the preliminary benedictions.

On the other hand, firstlings are first, at the beginning and outset. So why does Scripture bunch them together in one verse? The answer is that this combination emphasizes the relationship of beginning and end. For in matters of holiness we say:

The beginning is tied to the end and the conclusion is bound up with the beginning. (Sefer Yetzirah)

As such, this inclusion of the laws of cattle tithes in the laws of firstlings emphasizes this principle of the beginning being tied to the end. This relationship of first and last (tenth) is even stronger than the association of first and second or ninth and tenth.

This same beginning-ending relation is hinted at in today's Torah section where we find "Happy are you O Israel." The Midrash relates:

Wherewith did Moshe conclude (his blessings)? With, "Happy are you O Israel," and so Dovid, too, when he came to utter praise, began where Moshe left off: "Happy is the man" (Tehillim 1:1).

(Bereishis Rabbah End of Vayechi)

Starting with the same term that was used to conclude is also a form of binding the beginning with the end. This theme is reiterated by the connection of Moshe and Dovid as explained in Chassidus.

The Tzemach Tzedek in Or Hatorah writes:

Dovid started the book of Psalms with the words, "Happy is the man," the same term that Moshe used when concluding his blessings of the Jewish people. It may be said that Dovid symbolizes Moshiach, while Moshe's power derives from chochmah -- wisdom -- called first. Thus, Moshe is only a beginning, relative to Moshiach, and Moshiach will be the end.

(Or HaTorah, Devorim pg. 1481)

The connection between Moshe and Dovid, the "first redeemer" and the "final redeemer" again reiterates this symbolic relationship of beginning and end. And the Laws of Bechor and Ma'aser also may fit in with Moshe who was first -- Bechor, and Dovid who will be last -- (tenth -- ma'aser). We find many terms of ten associated with Moshiach: the tenth song of praise, the tenth Red Heifer, and the ten-stringed lyre of Moshiach.

By starting out with the words that Moshe used to conclude, Dovid indicated that in fact his role was a continuation of Moshe's. Moreover, the Torah which Moshiach will teach to all the Jewish people -- including the Patriarchs and Moshe -- is only a revelation of the esoteric aspects of Moshe's Torah. Thus, Dovid is truly a continuation of Moshe.

When the Baal Shem Tov was told by Moshiach that the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus would speed his (Moshiach's) coming, reference was once again made to the revelation of the esoteric teachings whose source is also from Sinai.

Today's Ushpizin (Sukkah guests) are Aharon Hakohen and the Tzemach Tzedek. Both worked hard to increase unity and Ahavas Yisroel among the Jewish people.

Of Aharon the Mishnah states:

Be of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow creatures and bringing them near to the Torah. (Avos 1:12)

Aharon united the Jewish people and forged them into one being, through Torah.

The Tzemach Tzedek, through his Torah and communal activities, was able to eliminate conflicting and opposing camps among the Jews, to the point of effecting unity and peace among all the people. Jewish unity is an expression of binding the beginning with the end, for you unite the leaders with the water drawers. When the end is united with the beginning making a complete circle, then there is neither top nor bottom.

There were, however, differences between Aharon's approach and the Tzemach Tzedek's approach. Aharon worked permanently with the simple folk, and concentrated on simple matters, and sometimes, in order to bring domestic peace, he even had to "modify" the story which he related.

The Tzemach Tzedek, however, worked mainly with the leaders of the Jewish people and the divergent factions. Through the Tzemach Tzedek's brilliant Torah novella in the exoteric and esoteric realms of Torah, the Tzemach Tzedek accomplished unity.

However, at the same time we find that both Aharon and the Tzemach Tzedek also worked at the other end of the spectrum. Aharon also taught the sages of Israel, and the Tzemach Tzedek also dealt with the average people. We know of the many times he had to meet with government officials or with maskilim (members of the so called "enlightment" reformers), and that his discussions in matters other than Torah brought the hoped-for results. Thus, the Tzemach Tzedek and Aharon both operated across the gamut, from one extreme to the other.

In the case of the Tzemach Tzedek, we find additional points of connection between beginning and end. Among all the leaders of Chabad -- the Rebbeim -- it is noteworthy that only the Tzemach Tzedek is referred to by the name of his magnum opus. In all cases the term "Rebbe" or some similar title is included in the appellation which Chassidim and Chassidus uses. The "Baal" Shem Tov, the Alter "Rebbe," the "Rebbe" Maharash, etc. This fact becomes most evident when we list all the names of the Rebbeim and mention the Tzemach Tzedek among them.

The name "Tzemach Tzedek" was chosen by his sons, after his passing, to be the title of his collected teachings and writings in Talmudic and halachic areas, which were prepared and published post-mortem. After the work was published the name caught on and was used in reference to the person and not the book. Where does the name Tzemach Tzedek come from? Chassidim say that it represents the same gematria as the name of the Tzemach Tzedek. (Tzemach = Menachem = 138, Tzedek = Mendel = 194). The term Tzemach Tzedek also may be homiletically associated with Moshiach. The name Tzemach is the name of Moshiach:

I will bring forth My servant, Tzemach. (Zechariah 3:8)

And, as we recite at the close of the Hosha'anos:

There has appeared a man, his name is Tzemach. (Siddur)

The word Tzedek refers to our righteous Moshiach as we say in the discourse of Eliyahu:

...righteousness (Tzedek) is the holy kingship.

(Tikkunei Zohar, Intro II)

Why is this so?

The Tzemach Tzedek worked feverishly to spread the wellsprings of Chassidus and he accomplished much in the area of unity of the different factions in Judaism, which was accomplished partly by his symbiosis of the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah.

Thus, we refer to the Tzemach Tzedek as the harbinger who leads us to Moshiach, for the dissemination of the fountains of Chassidus will bring Moshiach. In this way the Tzemach Tzedek becomes an important link in the chain of continuity between Moshe and Moshiach which represents the connection of beginning and end.

The practical lesson for us tonight is to increase the joy of Simchas Bais Hashoevah beyond the joy of all the previous days of Sukkos.

The joy must likewise be fresh and new, for on this day we will stress the theme of Moshiach who will introduce many innovations. While the joy must emanate from lofty heights the rejoicing must descend to the simple down-to-earth levels -- and evoke enthusiastic dancing in the streets. This will express the ideal of the beginning being bound up with the end. At the same time the joy must affect the world around us, so that even the non-Jews will be influenced and they will assist and provide protection for the Simchas Bais Hashoevah celebration.

Since Aharon is the Ushpizin today, and since Aharon showed love for his "fellow creatures," surely his love included all of G-d's creations: man and beast, Jew and gentile, all the seventy nations of the world.

In today's Chumash portion we also speak of the "high places" of the nations, meaning their kings. The gist of this is that we must utilize the power of the "high places" and the gentile nations, to raise ourselves to higher plateaus. As we find in the Gemara, that a gentile king adjusted the sash of a Jew and paid him respect and homage.

These lessons are eternal, and when a Jew advances with the power of Torah, the world takes notice and assists him -- just as in this neighborhood where the leaders of the communal activities have given permission, help and protection for the Simchas Bais Hashoevah -- then the rejoicing is intensified beyond what would have been.

May our actions speed the time of complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach and then we will receive the "new Torah." Then the Jewish people will be redeemed "with our youth and elders, our sons and daughters" and then those that dwell in the dust will arise, and all the Ushpizin among them, and we will reach a unified people with the whole Torah and we will all go to dance in the Holy Land, in the Holy City of Yerushalayim in the Bais Hamikdosh.

May this all come speedily and instantly, so that we don't have to wait, speedily and truly in our days -- so may it be.

  2nd Night Of Sukkos, 57466th Night Of Sukkos, 5746  
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