1. We will open with the traditional blessing offered by Jews when they meet each other, Shalom Aleichem. Even when a person meets children who are not necessarily able to respond Aleichem Shalom, one should train them to greet each other in a manner of peace. Indeed, in the case of children, the concept of peace is more prominent. They are less involved in worldly matters than adults. Since the world is characterized by difference and separation, children’s personalities are less tainted by these traits.1
There is an intrinsic connection between unity and peace and the giving of the Torah. Before the giving of the Torah, “Yisrael2 camped before the mountain.” Although there were a multitude of people present — 600,000 men and many women and children — the Torah uses the singular form of the verb “camped” to teach us that they camped “as one man, with one heart.”3
The Torah mentions that this encampment took place “in the third month.” There is an intrinsic connection between three and the giving of the Torah as our Sages relate “[G‑d gave] a threefold light to a threefold people,” associating the giving of the Torah with the concept of chazakah, a sequence of three reflecting strength and continuity.
The above concepts are enhanced by the present date, the tenth of Sivan. “The tenth will be holy.” Surely, this applies to the tenth of “the third month.”4 Ten is also intrinsically connected to the giving of the Torah as reflected in the Ten Commandments5 which were given to the Jewish people who are divided into ten different categories.6
The giving of the Torah is associated with Moshe’s ascent “to G‑d” for this represents the negation of the decree separating the spiritual from the physical. Each Jews possesses a dimension of Moshe within him. Indeed, this is the essence of his being.7 Each day, this dimension of Moshe can “ascend to G‑d.”
The above concepts are further enhanced by the unique influence of the present year, a year when “I will show you wonders.” (Herein, there is also a connection to the giving of the Torah when we openly perceived the wonders of the giving of the Torah.)
After the celebration of Shavuos on Sunday and Monday, we proceed to Tuesday, the day associated with the repetition of the phrase “And G‑d saw that it was good.” And then to Wednesday, “the day on which the luminaries were suspended in the heavens.” The term “luminaries” refers to the sun and the moon. (Herein there is a connection to the giving of the Torah. The Hebrew for moon levanah (לבנה) is an acronym for the Hebrew phrase (בתולה נשאת ליוםהרביעי) meaning “A maiden marries on Wednesday.” In an ultimate sense, this refers to the giving of the Torah, the wedding between Jews and G‑d.)8
There is also a connection between marriage, nissuin in Hebrew, and this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Naso. Naso means “lift up.” The ultimate uplifting of the Jewish people came at the time of the giving of the Torah, when G‑d raised up each member of the Jewish people. Furthermore, this affected their material lives as well as reflected in our Sages’ statement that it is universally accepted that the celebration of the Shavuos holiday should also bring us material satisfaction.9
This relates to the custom of eating sweet milchig foods on Shavuos as alluded to in the verse, “Honey and milk are under your tongue,” which also alludes to both Nigleh (the revealed dimension of Torah law) and Pnimiyus HaTorah (the Torah’s mystic dimension).10 The latter dimension was openly revealed at the giving of the Torah when all the Jews had a direct perception of the secrets of the Divine Merchavoh.
Similarly, the giving of the Torah also relates to Jewish children. This is reflected in the custom of bringing even very young children to Shul to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments on Shavuos day. Even if the children do not consciously understand this reading, their souls comprehend it, for the Torah “is the inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov.”
Each year on Shavuos, the potential is given for each Jew to receive the Torah anew and cause the Torah to permeate the totality of his existence. This is enhanced by the spreading of the wellsprings of the Torah outward in the present generation, and particularly, by the recent publication of a collection of the Mitteler Rebbe’s maamarim. This allows every Jew to do his share in conquering the world and causing the inhabitants of all the countries to bring “crowns” for G‑d.
This gathering will be concluded by distributing money to be given to tzedakahwhich “brings near the redemption.” As emphasized in the previous farbrengens, redemption, geulah (גאולה) involves revealing the Alef (G‑d’s presence) in golah (גולה), the exile.
May this take place miyad, “immediately.” Significantly, miyad (מיד) is an acronym for the names of the three Jewish leaders associated with the holiday of Shavuos: Moshe, Yisrael, and David (משה, ישראל, דוד).
These three leaders are related to each member of the Jewish people: “Every new concept developed by an experienced Torah scholar was given to Moshe on Mount Sinai.” Similarly, in regard to King David, after the recitation of Psalms, we request that this be considered “as if they were recited by David, King of Israel, himself.” In a like manner, the Baal Shem Tov endowed each Jew with the potential for miracles to be manifest in his life, even in regard to his material concerns.11
As mentioned above, all these matters — the redemption included — will be hastened by the distribution of money for tzedakah. And may it come in the immediate future.
Yechidus to Bar and Bas Mitzvah
2. All the blessings mentioned above are applicable to you as well. In particular, there is a connection to the giving of the Torah for at the giving of the Torah, every Jew became Bar-Mitzvahed, as it were. G‑d addressed Himself to every Jew, stating “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d,” using the singular form. At that time, every Jew became “commanded” to fulfill the mitzvos. The word mitzvah(“command”) relates to the word tzavta (“connection”). Through the mitzvos, a connection is established with G‑d.
Happy is the portion of the parents and the teachers12 who educated you and helped you reach this occasion. The positive nature of that occasion will be enhanced by your making an additional donation to tzedakah in connection with your Bar and Bas Mitzvahs. This will increase your connection with G‑d and draw down positive influence that will continue throughout your lives, leading to the Era of Redemption, at which time we will merit the ultimate level of the performance of the mitzvos.
Yechidus to Grooms and Brides
3. In addition to the blessings given above, you are worthy of special blessings. Indeed, we find that, in connection with the first union of man and woman mentioned in the Torah, Adam and Chavah, the Torah relates, “And G‑d blessed them.” Similarly, a wedding is associated with seven wedding blessings, which conclude with a reference to the Era of the Redemption when we will hear “in the cities of Yehudah,… the voice of a groom….”
May the preparations for the wedding be successful, and may you merit to establish an eternal structure on the foundation of the Torah and its mitzvos, amid blessings of sons, daughters, and prosperity. And may you — together with the entire Jewish people — merit the ultimate blessing, the coming of the Redemption.
The giving of the Torah is referred to as the wedding between G‑d and the Jewish people. May the renewal of the experience of the giving of the Torah, renew each person’s connection to this marriage bond and bring success and blessing.
And when the redemption comes, we will continue our happiness in our Holy Land, in Jerusalem, when we will merit “the new [dimension of the] Torah which will emerge from Me,” and a renewal of our marriage bond with G‑d.
This will be enhanced by your gifts to tzedakah in accordance with the custom of increasing one’s gifts in connection with one’s wedding. And this will hasten the renewal of the marriage bond between G‑d and the Jewish people.
- There is, however, a positive dimension to an adult’s involvement in worldly affairs. Through such involvement, he can come to the realization, “How manifold are Your works, O L‑rd.”
- In Hebrew, the letters of the name Yisrael (ישראל) can be rearranged to form the word li rosh (לי ראש), “a head for me,” emphasizing how the Jews serve as a head for the entire creation.
- The oneness of the Jewish people at the giving of the Torah is drawn down into the entire year that follows. Similarly, each day, we begin our prayers by saying, “Behold, I take upon myself to fulfill the mitzvah, ‘Love your fellowman as yourself.’ ”
- In particular, there are two dimensions to this holiness: One that exists in and of itself, and one which the Jews contribute through their service with the ten powers of their souls.
- These, in turn, correspond to the Ten Utterances of Creation.
- The ten categories of the Jews are mentioned in the verse describing how the people are “standing before G‑d to enter into a covenant.” “Before,” lifnai in Hebrew, also shares a connection to the giving of the Torah when, ponim b’ponim, (literally, “face to face’) “G‑d spoke to you.” Ponim also relates to the word pnimiyus, “inner dimension.” At the giving of the Torah, G‑d’s inner dimension was communicated to the inner dimensions of the Jewish people.
- The giving of the Torah relates to the totality of a Jew’s being, fusing his highest spiritual potentials with the material property he owns. Thus, the first commandment begins “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d” and the last commandment speaks about the property “owned by your colleague.” This implies that even a Jew’s physical possessions will be permeated by the awareness of “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d.”
- Within the context of the analogy of a marriage for the giving of the Torah, the commandment, “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d” can be interpreted as the statement of the groom with which he consecrates the bride as his wife. Significantly, the word “your” in the above statement is written in the singular form, i.e., it was addressed to each and every Jew individually. This implies that the wedding relationship between G‑d and the Jews established at the giving of the Torah, is not only with the people as a whole, but with each Jew individually.
- Polish Rebbeim have commented that the Hebrew words which convey this concept, נמי לכם, are numerically equivalent to the word .e (kaytz) which refers to the appointed time for Mashiach’s coming.
- Although these foods allude to these spiritual concepts, they become manifest in a material way, as actual food, for a Jew. This is because the essence of a Jew is his soul and the body is secondary, and indeed, nullified unto the soul.
- This relates to the story that the Baal Shem Tov’s tzitzis would shake on their own accord as if they were alive. From the tzitzis of the Baal Shem Tov, influence was drawn down to the four corners of the world. This will hasten the ingathering of the exiles from these four corners.
- There is a connection between parents and teachers as our Sages commented, “Whoever teaches a colleague’s son the Torah is considered as if he gave birth to him.”