People seem to expect more of the religious. A crime committed by an outwardly religious person attracts more media attention than a similar crime by a non-religious person. In the public eye, one who professes a belief in G-d and Torah is expected to uphold a higher moral code, in keeping with the principles that they espouse. A act considered repugnant for an ordinary person is perceived as doubly or triply so for a religious person.
And this is how it should be. The mitzvot in the Torah do not consist only of laying Tefillin, affixing a mezuzah to one’s door, keeping Shabbat, or other commandments between man and G-d. The 613 commandments encompass all of human life, from the moment of birth to the time of one’s passing; from the moment one awakens in the morning until going to sleep at night. There is no situation in which one is outside the framework of Torah and its commandments. To be a Torah Jew in the truest sense is to uphold, at all times, the highest standard of moral and ethical behavior.
In Jewish life, even, or perhaps especially, one’s everyday activities are performed not merely to carry out one’s own needs, but to serve G-d. Our eating, drinking, sleeping, business affairs—in everything we do, our sages say, “All your actions should be for the sake of Heaven.”
Over 110 years ago, a yeshiva was founded to educate its students in an all-encompassing way of life, dedicated to the service of the Creator. This is the mother yeshiva of Chabad: Tomchei Temimim, in the city of Lubavitch. On this upcoming Monday, 15 Elul, we will celebrate the anniversary of its founding.
In the documents of the yeshiva, it is recorded that the studies did not begin until the 18th of Elul, three days after its founding. In what sense, then, was the yeshiva founded on the 15th? One chassid explained that on the 15th, the dormitory and kitchen were opened. And there is significance to this fact. The establishment of the yeshiva does not date to the time when the actual studies began, but to the time when the physical preparations—the dorm and the kitchen—were ready. This indicates that the yeshiva’s purpose was not simply to educate Torah scholars, but to raise loyal soldiers in Hashem’s army, who are evident as soldiers not only when they study but even when they eat and sleep—in all their daily activities.Inerything we do, aseaven.ing, business affairs--in 'y til going to sleep at night. e of one'moral code, in keeping wiht
True faith, and sincere love and fear of G-d, together create a perfect framework for proper behavior over the entire course of one’s life. Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim provides a quality education based on these three pillars of Judaism.
The founder of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, referred to the students as “soldiers of the house of David.” He explained that the education they receive in Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, the students will be well equipped to do battle with those that King David describes in Psalms, those who “disgrace the footsteps of Moshiach.”
Who are the ones who “disgrace the footsteps of Moshiach”? During the final stage before the coming of Moshiach, the powers of impurity will realize that they are facing their annihilation, and will muster their strength for one last showdown. The task of the “Soldiers of the House of David” will be to overcome this final thrust. With the power of their faith they will draw in more and more soldiers to defeat the forces of evil.
This, in fact, is the stage in which we find ourselves now. We are doing battle with the last dregs of the evil forces, which will soon be eradicated completely, with the absolute victory going to King Moshiach. It is our merit to join the ranks of Moshiach’s soldiers, who fulfill the dictum of the Mishnah: “All the days of your life—to bring Moshiach.”