When a number of Jews spend a period of time together in one place, praying together, studying together, giving tzedakah together, accepting good resolutions together, it is understood they are infused with the additional strength and energy regarding all matters of Yiddishkeit. Thus, when the time period which they spent together is concluded and the time arrives when each must return to his own home, an effort must be made to ensure that all the influence received in this period will not be weakened. On the contrary, the power and strength received must be used to affect the days that follow, when we will no longer be found together with many other Jews. We are commanded to “go from strength to strength” and constantly proceed and progress, so that in those coming days we will reach even higher levels than attained in the time we spent together.
Even though, on the surface, we are separating from each other — each individual returning to his own home — that separation is only geographic. In a spiritual sense, each individual is returning home as a shaliach (emissary) of all those with whom he spent this holiday season. Thus, in addition to his own personal potential, he has been invested with the powers of all those Jews and must use these powers to fulfill the mission with which each and every Jew — men, women and children — have been charged: to illuminate this world. Therefore, he will surely carry out that mission with more energy and with more happiness than he possessed before he spent this holiday season together with other Jews.
The above applies particularly when a festival season was spent together and on the festival, Pesach, “the head of the festivals,” “the season of our freedom.” This is surely a time when one is aroused and strengthened in one’s service of Torah and mitzvos in a very elevated manner. Similarly, Pesach has a unique effect on the days that follow. The previous Rebbe explained that it is not Lubavitch custom to recite the passage, “Chassal Siddur Pesach,” — the Passover Seder is concluded for Pesach is never concluded. On the contrary, Pesach continues to influence us the entire year to come.
Also, the need to proceed further in each coming day is also emphasized in relation to Pesach. Pesach is directly followed by the mitzvah of Counting the Omer, which expresses our desire and yearning to receive the Torah. Indeed, the counting of the days is an expression of that yearning. Thus, after Pesach, we proceed to add in all matters of holiness, as a preparation for receiving the Torah on Shavuos.
After the great arousal experienced when spending Pesach together, each one of us surely accepted (bli-neder) upon himself good resolutions regarding all matters of Yiddishkeit, including spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward and the participation in the Mivtzoyim. Nevertheless, on the basis of the above, an effort must be made to strive to further heights. Surely, G-d will assist each and every Jew to fulfill those resolutions, extending their scope, and to do so with joy and happiness.
May it be G-d’s will that each of you take the spirit and the atmosphere from here to your home, your city and its surroundings, with the intention of becoming “a candle to shine,” to illuminate all your surroundings with good.
The efforts of each of you (and the entire Jewish people) to do what is dependent upon you in Torah and mitzvos and to redeem yourselves from the inner exile of the yetzer horah will cause us to be redeemed from all the undesirable factors present during the time of the exile and hasten the complete redemption from exile with the coming of Mashiach. That will be a total redemption; not even one Jew will remain in exile. It will effect not only a Jew’s spiritual matters, but also his material concerns.
Then, all of us will proceed together to Eretz Yisrael, and then to the Temple Mount and to “the Sanctuary of the L-rd, established by Your hands.” May it be speedily in our days.
It is customary that when Jews separate from each other, to charge one with a mission of a mitzvah, in particular, in regard to one of the fundamental mitzvos, the mitzvah of tzedakah — a mitzvah which is equated to all the other mitzvos, to the point where the Talmud Yerushalmi refers to it as the mitzvah, without any further description. Therefore, I will give each of you a dollar. When you reach your home, you should change it into local currency and give it to charity, preferably a charity connected with Jewish education. In the Farbrengen of Acharon Shel Pesach, it was explained that the period between Pesach and Shavuos is intrinsically related to education; for it marked the “education” of the entire Jewish people. Hence, it is proper that this money be given to a charity dedicated towards that Purpose.
[At this point, the Rebbe Shlita spoke in regard to the Campaign to study Rambam’s work, the Mishneh Torah. Those remarks have been collected together with his other addresses on the subject and printed separately.]
May each of us make additional positive resolutions, regarding all of the above and all matters of Yiddishkeit. Surely, G-d will help us fulfill them, removing all obstacles and hindrances; thus, we will be free of all disturbing influences. Similarly, may He grant all that is necessary regarding children, health and sustenance, in abundance. May this all follow the instructions of the weekly portion, “You shall be holy.” For every Jew should carry out his day to day behavior in a manner of holiness. This leads to a lesson taught in the portion (Emor) that follows, in which Rashi explains how the elders are instructed regarding the youngsters; i.e. they have the responsibility to influence those who are less developed in all matters of Yiddishkeit and illuminate them with “the candle of mitzvah and the light of Torah,” and thus, increase the revelation of the light of the soul, as it is written: “the candle of G-d is the soul of man.” This will add light to the entire world. At present “darkness covers the world” and “nations threaten each other.” Peace and unity are lacking in the world at large and even among the Jewish people. Nevertheless, through the above we can illuminate the entire world though we ourselves are found in exile. Then, we will proceed to the light of the ultimate and complete, with the coming of Mashiach. speedily in our days.