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Parshas Va'eschanan - Sheini with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is continuing to talk to the Yidden and prepare them to go into Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu is begging the Yidden to serve Hashem, and not Avodah Zarah. He reminds the Yidden about Matan Torah, and how close they felt to Hashem. He reminds them about Yetzias Mitzrayim — about how there is NOTHING aside for Hashem!

There are some very well-known pesukim in today’s Chumash:

- Rak Hishomer Lecha... we say this in the Sheish Zechiros, the six things we need to remember every day! This posuk reminds us about Matan Torah.

- Ata Hareisa LaDaas... the posuk we say before Kriyas HaTorah on Shabbos, and by Hakafos on Simchas Torah!

- VeYadaata HaYom... We say this posuk in Aleinu, and Shaar HaYichud VeHaEmunah is based on this posuk!



55- 59

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Nun-Hey through Nun-Tes.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a very famous niggun!

Padah BeShalom Nafshi” — Dovid Hamelech said these words thanking Hashem for saving him from his enemies! It says in the posuk, “Ki Berabim Hayu Imadi.” “Because of the many that were with me.”

Why did Dovid Hamelech say this? Because EVERYONE was davening for Dovid to be saved — even his enemies! They knew he was right, and they wanted the machlokes to end. So they davened for Dovid to win — and he did!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Daled

There are two kinds of feelings: Things we feel because we think about them, and things that we don’t need to think about because they are just who we are!

When we think about something and then feel it, we have Chitzonius Halev. But something that is SO much a part of us — we don’t even need to think — it is just who we ARE!! Like if someone is FREEZING cold, they don’t need to think about how cold they are! They feel right away that they need a coat.

Our neshama is like that — it is so close to Hashem, it doesn’t need to think about Him to feel so close! That’s Pnimius Halev.

But because we ALSO love things like games and toys and cars and puzzles and nosh... our neshama is in Golus. It gets blocked from loving Hashem.

So how do we get our neshamos out of Golus?

1) We can do this ourselves: Stop thinking how much we LOVE the Gashmius, think about how we can use the Gashmius to serve Hashem better — like sharing!

2) This we CAN’T do ourselves : But when we daven, Hashem can give us a special present — He can take away that last piece of us that still loves the Gashmius.

That’s “Umol Hashem Es Levovcha” — Hashem gives our heart a “bris milah” to take off the part of us that is keeping the neshama in Golus.

For now, Hashem only does that as a present when we daven, but when Moshiach comes, He will take it away FOREVER!

We will see that the reason Hashem gives us this present during davening is because we give tzedakah. When we give tzedakah and help someone else, Hashem helps us to get out of our Golus, which we can’t get out of ourselves!



Yud Menachem Av

Today’s Hayom Yom teaches us more about the Ahavas Yisroel we are learning about now in Tanya!

In Igeres HakodeshKatonti,” the Alter Rebbe wrote a letter to the Chassidim after he came out of jail on Yud-Tes-Kislev. He said “Don’t be mean to the Misnagdim!”

There are two parts of this letter that are EXTRA-special!

1) The Alter Rebbe said a maamar THREE times called “Kamayim Hapanim.” Then he added a part to the letter!

The maamar talks about how water acts like a mirror, and our hearts act like a mirror too! When we act a certain way to other people, they act that way too to us! When the Chassidim will work on loving the misnagdim, the Misnagdim will love them back, and there will be no more machlokes!

By the way, this did happen! During the time of the Tzemach Tzedek, Chassidim and Misnagdim already lived together peacefully without machlokes. We can learn from this that today, with the power of Kamayim Hapanim, we can overcome differences among Yidden and take away Machlokes!

2) The Alter Rebbe added three words to the end of his letter: “Bemidas Emes LeYaakov” — that the Chassidim have to have this Ahavas Yisroel — but REALLY feel it, be’emes!

The Rebbe Maharash said that if the Alter Rebbe had left out these words, he would have had 50,000 MORE chassidim! But the Alter Rebbe knew it’s easy to just SHOW behavior to others — the Alter Rebbe wanted his Chassidim to REALLY feel that way.



Shiur #36 - Nusach Birchos HaTefillah

Today’s Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos are exactly the same! We read through the Rambam’s nusach for Shmoneh Esrei and Vidui. It is very interesting to see what is the same and what is different in the Rambam’s nusach and the nusach we daven!



Nusach Birchos HaTefillah

In today’s Rambam, we read through the nusach of every possible Shemoneh Esrei! We see Shemoneh Esrei the way it is said during the week, and the changes we make on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim. This way, we see every different type of Shemoneh Esrei there could be.



Hilchos Matnos Aniyim - Perek Yud

This is a very important perek to know! It is a good idea to learn it inside.

The Rambam tells us how special it is to give tzedakah, and that even when we can’t give, we should try to make the poor person feel good. Also, helping others to give Tzedakah is even BETTER than giving yourself!

We also learn about:

- 8 levels of Tzedakah

- Tzedakah before davening

- not taking Tzedakah unless someone really needs to.

We need to trust in Hashem Who will make sure we have everything we need!




In today’s Chumash, Sheini of Parshas Vaeschanan, we have the posuk, “Veyadaata Hayom Vehasheivosa El Levecha Ki Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim Bashomayim Mimaal Ve’al Ha’aretz Mitachas Ein Od!” “You should know today and keep in your heart that Hashem is our Hashem, in the heavens above and on the earth below there is nothing else!”

Chassidus explains that in this posuk, Moshe Rabbeinu is telling the Yidden that they should always know that Havaya is Elokim!

During different times, Hashem expresses Himself in different ways:

Sometimes there are moments where we see Hashem in a way of Havaya, the name of Hashem where His goodness and koach are clear to see. Yidden have had many powerful Havaya moments, like the time of Matan Torah, the time of the first Beis Hamikdash, and the neis of Chanukah. We also have Havaya moments in our own lives, when small (or big) nisim show us that Hashem is taking care of us. It could be when you passed a test that was very hard for you, or when you got something you had wanted very much.

There are also moments where Hashem expresses Himself in a way of Elokim. This is where Hashem’s goodness is hidden, and these moments can be very hard. We had many of these moments during the Churban and during all of these years of Golus. When everything seems to be going wrong, or something scary or painful happens to us, we are having a moment where Hashem’s chayus is coming in a way of Elokim.

But Moshe Rabbeinu is reminding us that either way, it’s still the same Aibershter! Hashem is our Hashem whether He is reaching to us in a way of Havaya, or in a way of Elokim. Hashem and His love for the Yidden is always there, even when it is hidden.

When Hashem gives a person an “Elokim moment,” He is testing him, to see if he will reach deeper inside of his neshama to KNOW (Veyadaata) that Hashem is right there with him. When he passes the test and still acts the way Hashem wants him to, then there is no reason for Hashem to be hidden anymore, and Hashem will show him His kindness!

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Kriyas Shema Ketana

The Shema that we say in the beginning of davening is also known as Kriyas Shema Ketana, the “little” Kriyas Shema.

We say this Shema because of a gezeira that was once made against the Yidden.

After the second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Yidden were sent into Golus. For hundreds of years, the Persian kings who ruled Bavel left the Yidden alone. But at the end of the time of the Amoraim, the kings started to make cruel decrees against Yiddishkeit.

One of these decrees was that the Yidden could not say Shema in shul, so that they wouldn’t strengthen their emunah in Hashem.

When this decree was made, the Chachomim added Shema to Korbanos. This way, the Yidden would say Shema in the morning before coming to shul.

Even though there is Baruch Hashem no such decree nowadays, we still say this Shema. For many people, especially those who daven with a later minyan or daven ba’arichus, saying this Shema in Korbanos helps them make sure to say Kriyas Shema in its proper time.

In Yechidus, the Rebbe told someone that the paragraphs before this Shema (Le’olam Yehei Adam) and after (Ata Hu) are a preparation and a conclusion to this Shema, similar to the brachos before and after Shema which we say later in davening.

See Masechta Shel Tefillah and Mafteiach L’Sichos Kodesh



Motzei Tisha B'Av

When the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Romans started to burn it on Tisha B’Av, and it didn’t stop burning until Yud Av. After the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash, some of the chachomim fasted not just on Tisha B’Av, but also on the next day. But since nowadays we only have enough koach to fast for one day, we just fast on Tisha B’Av.

That’s why, even though Tisha B’Av is over, we still keep the minhagim of the Nine Days, like not doing laundry, drinking wine, or swimming, until after Chatzos.

For more halachos of Tisha B’Av, see the Halachos of Tisha B’Av on Shabbos by Badatz of Crown Heights, or the Halacha Newsletter by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches from Melbourne, Australia

לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח ר׳ דניאל יצחק ע״ה בן ר׳ אפרים שי׳ מאסקאוויץ
שליח כ"ק אדמו"ר נשיא דורנו למדינת אילינוי



Seeing Elokus

This week’s Chassidishe Parsha in Likutei Torah, Parsha Vaeschanan, has the most maamorim of all the parshios in Chumash Devarim!

In the first maamar, the Alter Rebbe explains to us why Moshe Rabbeinu wanted so much to go into Eretz Yisroel:

If Moshe Rabbeinu had led the Yidden into Eretz Yisroel, the Yidden would have been able to see Hashem! It would make the Geulah of coming out of Mitzrayim and into Eretz Yisroel a permanent Geulah -- with no other Golus afterwards. It would have been the times of Moshiach, right away!

The Alter Rebbe tells us a story to explain what it means to understand Elokus in a way of Re’iyah, seeing:

One time R’ Avraham Halevi, a talmid of the Arizal, came to his Rebbe the Arizal. When he came, he saw that the Arizal was resting. After about two hours, the Arizal woke up. He told R’ Avraham Halevi what he had seen when he was asleep: He had gone to the Yeshiva Shel Maalah, and seen secrets about the parshios of Balak and Bilaam that he wouldn’t be able to explain, even if he spent 80 years straight speaking!

How is it possible that in two hours of resting the Arizal was able to see something in the Yeshiva Shel Maalah that it would take more than eighty years to say?

It’s because what he learned in the Yeshiva Shel Maalah was in a way of SEEING the secrets of Torah, not hearing them. And seeing something teaches us in a much greater way than ANY amount of explaining!

That’s the way the Yidden would have recognized Elokus if Moshe Rabbeinu would have brought them into Eretz Yisroel, and that’s the way we’ll see Elokus when Moshiach comes!

In order for the Geulah to be something that Yidden earned, Hashem wanted Yehoshua to lead the Yidden into Eretz Yisroel. But it wasn’t a complete Geulah — we were sent into Golus many times after that. And in the end, the complete Geulah will come through OUR work!

Even though the Yidden didn’t get the complete Geulah then, we are now at the very end of Golus. Soon we will be able to experience this kind of SEEING Elokus with the final Geulah, which will never have another Golus afterwards!

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