Preparing For The Holiday
The Mishna states two opinions as to when we must begin studying the laws of an upcoming holiday. One opinion is 30 days before the holiday, while the other is two weeks.
Although the first opinion is the accepted one, it is appropriate to also reassess and intensify our efforts two weeks before the holiday. Just as we must make an effort to study the Passover laws in advance of the festival, we must also make efforts to provide others with their Passover needs, giving money to maot chitim, the special charity associated with Passover. Concerning the special charity for Passover needs, the Rebbe said:
"Although surely one gave thirty days before Passover, as the Passover holiday grows nearer one must reassess and increase his donations.
"Similarly, in regard to the size of one's donations, one must reassess one's earnings and give according to the nature of the blessings G-d has provided. Giving in this manner will not cause a person any losses. On the contrary, as G-d sees the extent of one's generosity, He will provide him with more blessings. A person who gives without reservations and limitations will receive Divine blessings that know no bounds.
"The above is connected with the Prince who brought his offerings on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, Nachshon ben Aminadav. Aminadav can refer to generosity, the meaning of the word 'nadav.' Nachshon jumped into the sea, giving himself over with self-sacrifice, serving G-d without limitations. Thus, Nachshon ben Aminadav reflected how our generosity must be expressed without limitation, giving in a miraculous manner.
"This will transform everything undesirable. Just as Nachshon's jumping into the sea, caused the sea to split and led to the final and most complete phase of the Exodus from Egypt, so too, our unbounded gifts to tzedaka will bring near the redemption and indeed transform all the negative influences into good."
May the Rebbe's words be actualized immediately so that we can all celebrate together in the Holy Land.