1)  Do It with a Smile!      

Conventional Approach: Religious devotion, and our relationship with G‑d is a very solemn matter. We must recognize and be mindful of Hashem’s Might in Awe and Sobriety.

Hakhel Perspective: Yes, G‑d is all-mighty and awesome to the extreme. What's even more awesome? Every time we do a Mitzvah, we connect with Hashem. That’s just a cause to jump for joy!

No wonder that the great gathering of Hakhel took place immediately following the first day of Sukkot. Sukkot is called “the season of our rejoicing,” a time for happiness and celebration.

To absorb that spiritual connection, we must open our hearts and minds. That’s done best with joy!

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Infuse your Yiddishkeit with more joy. When you pray, sing a little; when you study, read aloud in a happy tone. When joining a gathering, be the one with big smile on your face!



2) Just Be There!  

Conventional Approach: Only attend Jewish events at your level of comfort and comprehension. If you don’t understand or can’t relate easily, it’s a waste of time.

Hakhel Perspective: Often-times the inspiration of a Yiddishkeit experience can be absorbed naturally. Just by being there. And being present.

Everyone was at Hakhel. The High IQ people who could understand it. The great EQ individuals who could feel it. And then, surprisingly enough the kids, even newborns attended the Hakhel Gathering.

Why? Because it wasn’t only about what you learned or how you felt. It was about who you were. If you were a Jew, you had to be there, along with all the rest Jewish People. Period. 

Interestingly, at times the smallest or simplest, freed from the glass ceilings of intellectual or emotional awareness, end up connecting on the deepest level.

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: When invited to join a good gathering, if you’re only able, just say yes! Be there, with your people, with your heart open. You might end up surprised at how enriching the experience turns out to be.



3) Every Soul Can Glow!   

Conventional Approach: Our Connection to Hashem’s Torah is achieved by virtue of possessing its knowledge. The more knowledgeable you are, the deeper your bond is.

Hakhel Perspective: The Torah inherently belongs to us all. Equally. This is always true, regardless of how much knowledge one is fortunate enough to amass and posses.

When G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He wanted everyone present, from the eldest and wisest to the infants. The message is clear: All of Torah belongs to all Am Yisrael —even before we understand or know anything about it.

In this vein, the Hakhel Gathering didn’t feature sermons or presentations by Torah luminaries. In fact, there were no speeches at all. Just a word-for-word reading from the Torah scroll by the king.

Once again, G‑d would convey His gift of Light to every Jew. Remember! Regardless of your level of wisdom, understanding, or knowledge: Torah is Yours. Unconditionally. Embrace it and learn to glow!

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Reach out and help kindle Yiddishkeit in others. Each of us posses a beautiful Neshama. We can all shine brightly. Limited literacy, affiliation, or observance shouldn’t get in the way.


4) Uncover the Treasure Within!  

Conventional Approach: Enrichment through diversity can and must be attained by connecting with other people. Only by reaching outward can we transcend ourselves.

Hakhel Perspective: At times, you can succeed at broadening your horizons by reaching inward and connecting with complexity and diversity that’s found within your very own self.

To be sure, there is enormous diversity around us. Yet there is also a great diversity within us.

Consider your own mind and heart. We are all simultaneously intellectual and emotional beings. A complex weave of disparate strands. Cold and rational minds, alongside passion-fuelled seething hearts.

And what of the jagged disparities sometimes found between our thoughts, words, and actions. How often do people think differently than they speak, or say one thing, while doing another?

Hakhel is about building bridges and creating connections. It’s achieved by uniting diverse individuals around a singular ideal, a higher purpose. We can do that inside ourselves, too. Connect your mind, your heart, your words, and your actions to move together in one direction with one grand purpose.

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Unite your own internal diversity. Contemplate yourself as a being chosen by G‑d to fulfill a higher purpose. Once a day, check in and re-align every part of you with those goals.



5) Stand Tall and Make Noise! 

Conventional Approach: Don’t make yourself the centre of attention. Being in the limelight feeds the ego. That’s self-destructive. More so when it comes to Torah, which is all about humility!

Hakhel Perspective: When it comes to anything related to the spreading of Torah teaching and Yiddishkeit ideals, spread your branches and make all the noise you can!

During the Hakhel ceremony, the king would address the gathering from a tall, wooden platform. Everyone had to see him reading from the Torah. Taking in the view served to inspire.

In this age of social media, one person can influence the entire world with a few swipes. When it comes to Torah, we are all royally positioned to become a source of uplifting influence.

You were purposefully created. By G‑d Himself. Born to make a positive difference. If you avoid the limelight at any cost, you might just end up sidestepping the very purpose you were created for. 

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: When broadcasting Yiddishkeit inspiration, get up there, stand out, and let your light shine. If it’s for a Torah cause, don’t worry about feeding your ego.



6) Put a Crown on Your Head! 

Conventional Approach: Never ignore your feelings. You owe it to yourself to just be you. By going against your emotional grain, you’ll only end up scratching yourself.

Hakhel Perspective: Stop and think. Often. Seek objective clarity. Decide to do what is right, rather than what feels right. Ultimately, your heart will follow wherever your mind takes it.

Our feelings are the powerful wheels that keep us in motion. But leave them spinning on their own and they can run you off the path of virtue. Driving you deep into a ditch of selfish deception.

Human beings were purposely positioned with a head high above the heart. The mind was granted objectivity; it can best steer your life’s journeys. Once your pre-frontal cortex charts a way forward, your heart will turn around and follow. Then you, in totality, can successfully proceed towards fulfilment. 

It’s just like when the Jewish people gathered at the Beit HaMikdash and the king read from the Torah. In your own life, let your mind dress-up and play king. It’ll make achieving happiness that much easier!

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Contemplate things. What does Torah say is the right thing to do? Find out. Then just do it. Eventually you’ll feel it too. All of you. This year, make your mind king.


7) Everyone can be a Leader!

Conventional Approach: Only precious few of us are fit to lead. The rest of us are born to follow.

Hakhel Perspective: Each one of us is the global leader in accomplishing our mission in this world.

When we were conceived, G‑d gave each of us shape, form, and personality. Engineering us with unfathomable precision. We are all in the right place at the right time to lead in the way only we can.

Don’t wait to be appointed or elected. There’s no guarantee someone will necessarily call you by name or pin a card to your lapel. All-mighty G‑d Himself has already assigned you to your unique leadership role.

The only requirement is that you get up in front of the crowd and start walking forward, in the way you know how to. One day, you’ll look behind to see a whole army following in your path.

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: It doesn’t take much to lead a Mitzvah endeavour. Invite a guest for Shabbat, post something inspirational, share a Torah thought, or host a Jewish get-together at your home.



8) Prioritize those Who Haven’t Yet! 
Conventional Approach: You’ve got lots to share —Torah knowledge, insights, and wisdom. Not everyone has the background or capacity to appreciate it. Curate your audience. Carefully. 

Hakhel Perspective: If it’s real Torah, and you really understand it. Share it. Widely. Real Torah can touch and positively impact. Anyone. Everyone. The better you understand. The further you can share.

The value of a soul cannot be measured by technical data. On paper, it may seem wiser to invest in those already in the know. Yet, reaching out to those who haven’t learnt yet should be a high priority.

In the Mitzvah of Hakhel, the Torah directs us to pay much attention to “the children who don’t know yet.” As we seek to inspire others with holy and uplifting ideas of Torah and Mitzvot, we must prioritize those who haven’t yet had a chance to learn or develop an appreciation for them.

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Is there someone in your orbit that fits the above articulated description? Take the initiative to reach out to them this month and share something you’ve learned to appreciate!


9) E Pluribus Unum – Building a Torah Community!  

Conventional Approach: It takes many people, much effort, and a great deal of time to succeed in building the kind of unison that our sacred tradition would call “a community.”

Hakhel Perspective: Bringing any number of fellow Jews together in a positive Yiddishkeit manner is meaningful and possesses the virtuous energy of a “Tzibur” = Torah Community.

“Hakhel!” “Get together, unite!” The Torah’s sacred call to gather in unison doesn’t require many people. If we connect with others for a holy Yiddishkeit purpose, we are already fulfilling (albeit in microcosm) the stated goal of this uniquely unifying Mitzvah.

The idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is a Torah truism, evidenced in Halacha (Jewish Ritual Law) by things like minimum numbers required to achieve a Minyan (quorum of 10) for Kaddish or Prayer and a Mezuman (quorum of 3) for Grace-after-Meals. 

When we get together for a Torah purpose, it’s not only 1+1; rather, we instantly attain the profound power of “sacred communal collective.”

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Even meeting a friend for coffee and choosing to spend time discussing ideas of Torah can be considered Hakhel; gracing you both with an added measure of spiritual power!


10) Preparing to Greet Moshiach!   

Conventional Approach: What happened in the past belongs to history books. Let’s let bygones be bygones. We are modern Jews living in a new age. Embrace progress and forget yesteryear!

Hakhel Perspective: G‑d created Time as a wonderous continuum. As we spiral ahead into the future, history can positively repeat itself. Great historic happenings will soon happen again.

The Grand Hakhel Gathering was a glorious moment of great joy. The entirety of our Jewish People stood together as one. We were all uplifted, inspired, and re-invigorated towards the fulfilment of our national calling: Being Hashem’s Beacon of Spiritual Light unto the Nations.

Not only will this soon happen again. It’ll happen on a much grander scale, in a far more glorious manner. Very soon, all Am Yisrael will be gathered from the four corners of Earth to return to Eretz Yisrael. To our eternal Holy Land with the coming of Moshiach.

And, when that great day finally dawns. When it finally happens, we will all take pride in knowing that our small and large present-day Hakhel gatherings helped make it a reality!

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: In this months’ Hakhel gatherings, discuss G‑d’s promise of the coming of Moshiach when we will experience the true Hakhel that we’ve all been waiting for!


11) Create Your Own Mikdash!   

Conventional Approach: From Synagogues to Cemeteries. Holy Places are Holy. Other spaces are not.

Hakhel Perspective: Physical dimensions are only one element that can be employed to determine its   holiness. Environment, atmosphere, and vibes are other dimensions that can sanctify space. 

While the Huge Hakhel Assembly in Jerusalem took place in a holy space – the Beit HaMikdash = Holy Temple – we too can create our own holy spaces by infusing our environments with holiness.

When we do so, we create a mini-Beit HaMikdash for all to enjoy. Right Here. Right Now!

Hakhel Tip-of-the-Month: Be aware of your environment. Choose to sanctify it: With Holy Books. Words of Torah. By placing a Tzedakah Box. Mindfully creating an atmosphere conducive to Yiddishkeit values.