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CHUMASH

Parshas Chukas - Rishon with Rashi

Today we start to learn about the mitzvah of Parah Adumah!

Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon to teach the Yidden about a new mitzvah: The Parah Adumah. This mitzvah is a chok, a mitzvah that we can’t understand.

A person who has Tumas Meis is not allowed to go into the Beis Hamikdash. Tumas Meis can come from touching or being in the same house as a person who passed away. It is the strongest kind of tumah! A person with Tumas Meis can’t become tahor just by going to the mikvah, like with other kinds of tumah. The person needs to be sprinkled with water mixed with ashes from the Parah Adumah!

There are many details about how to prepare the ashes of the Parah Adumah:

Parah Adumah” means “red cow.” It is a cow that is ALL red, that has no mum, and that never was used for work. The Parah Adumah is shechted, and some of its blood is sprinkled in the direction of the Mishkan seven times. Then the cow is burned. The kohen takes a piece of wood, a kind of plant, and some red wool, and throws them into the burning cow. Someone who is tahor takes the ashes from the burned cow, and puts them in a container. These ashes are mixed with a special kind of water called Mayim Chayim.

(The Parah Adumah makes people tahor, but all of the kohanim who work on preparing the Parah Adumah’s ashes become tamei!)

Here’s how to use the ashes of the Parah Adumah:

The person who is tamei needs to count seven days after he stays away from things that give a person Tumas Meis. On the 3rd day and on the 7th day of his counting, he gets sprinkled with the water that was mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah.

IY”H tomorrow we will learn how this water is sprinkled on a person.

 
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TEHILLIM

23 - 28

Today’s kapitelach are Chof-Gimmel until Chof-Ches.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a kapitel that is the Shir Shel Yom of every Sunday, Yom Rishon! This kapitel (Kapitel Chof-Daled) was sung in the Beis Hamikdash on the first day of the week.

Some of the pesukim in this Kapitel talk about the time when Shlomo Hamelech went to bring the Aron into the Kodesh Hakodoshim in the Beis Hamikdash. He asked the gates to open up, “Se’u She’arim Rosheichem!”

The Gemara (in Mesechta Shabbos) tells us the story behind this:

After Shlomo Hamelech finished building the Beis Hamikdash, he wanted to finally bring the Aron into its proper home! But when he came to the Kodesh Hakodoshim, the gates stayed tightly closed and he wasn’t able to bring it inside!

Shlomo Hamelech said 24 praises to Hashem, but the gates didn’t move.

So Shlomo Hamelech started to say the words of this kapitel, asking that the gates should open: “Se’u She’arim Rosheichem Vehinas’u Pischei Olam, Veyavo Melech Hakavod!” “Gates, open up, so the King of glory can come in!”

When he said these words, the gates of the Kodesh Hakodoshim got very angry, and they wanted to swallow him up! They thought that Shlomo Hamelech was talking about himself, saying that the gates should open so HE could come in!

But first, they asked him: “Who is the Melech Hakavod, the King of glory?” Shlomo Hamelech answered with the next words, “Hashem Izuz Vegibor,” “Hashem Who is strong and mighty.”

Again, Shlomo Hamelech asked the gates to open, so that the Melech Hakavod, Hashem, could come inside. But the gates still stayed tightly shut.

Finally, Shlomo Hamelech asked the gates to open in the zechus of Dovid Hamelech, saying a posuk from Divrei Hayomim: “Hashem Elokim, Al Tosheiv Pnei Meshichecha” — Hashem, do not turn away the face of the one You annointed, “Zachra Lechasdei Dovid Avdecha” — Remember the kindness of Dovid your servant.

When he said that, the doors immediately opened up and he was able to bring the Aron into the Kodesh Hakodoshim.

The Gemara says that this is what Shlomo Hamelech was talking about in his Sefer Koheles, when he said, “Meshabeiach Ani Es Hameisim Shekvar Meisu.” “I praise those who have passed away — even more than those who are still alive.” (We say this posuk in the Maaneh Lashon.) Tzadikim, even after they pass away, have a greater zechus than people who are still alive! As we saw in this story, the Beis Hamikdash was only able to be used in the zechus of Dovid Hamelech, even though he had already passed away.

 
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TANYA

Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Yud

The Torah gives us a mashal to understand how Hashem and the sefiros are one, from the sun and its light.

We can’t understand how Hashem is One if He has so many different midos (Sefiros)!

Still, Hashem gave permission with Ruach Hakodesh to Mekubalim (people who teach Kabbalah) to talk about the sefiros and give a mashal for them. The mashal they gave is not from our own neshama, but from something ELSE Hashem made: Light.

They called the SefirosOros” (lights) — giving a mashal from the light of the sun, which has rays that shine from it. This helps us understand the oneness of Hashem with the sefiros a little. The sun’s rays are also inside the sun, but when they’re in the sun, they don’t have a name — they’re just part of the sun!

The same thing is with the Sefiros. When they shine on us, we call them different names, but the truth is that they are one with Hashem, like the rays of the sun are part of the sun!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Daled Tammuz

In today’s Hayom Yom we learn about the amazing kochos we are given in our shlichus!

If a Chossid puts all of his kochos into doing his shlichus, Hashem gives him amazing hatzlacha!

Even if it’s a very big city, which needs extra-special kochos, Hashem helps him in the zechus of the holy Avos, so even one Shliach can change a whole city!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #310 - Mitzvas Asei #248

Today we learn the mitzvah again (Mitzvas Asei #248) that we need to follow the halachos about yerusha: When someone passes away (R”L), we learn who gets the things they owned.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Nachalos

In today’s Rambam, we learn many halachos about firstborns, and what they get.

In Perek Gimmel, we learn about which things the firstborn gets double of, and which things not. If a father had a lottery ticket, and he won after he passed away, the firstborn doesn’t get a double portion of that. He only gets double from what the father had before he passed away.

Perek Daled teaches us about how we know that someone is actually a relative, who should get the yerusha. The halacha is not usually very strict about proving that someone is related for yerusha — if the person who passed away called someone his son or his brother, we believe him, even if nobody else thought they were related.

Perek Hey teaches us about how to divide a yerusha when there is a sofek (doubt) if a certain person should get part of the yerusha. The halacha is usually that if one person gets the yerusha for sure, and the other person is a sofek, we give all of it to the one we are sure about. If there is more than one person who is a sofek, we divide it between them.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Metamei Mishkav U'Moshav - Perek Yud-Gimmel

In today’s Rambam, we learn the last Perek about people who are an Av Hatumah.

There are some people that are careful about the halachos of tumah and tahara. Such a person is called a Chaver. Other people are called Amei Ha’aretz. If your workers are Amei Ha’aretz, you need to watch them carefully to make sure your products stay tahor. If a chaver wasn’t paying attention to his possessions, they may become tamei.

 
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DARKEI HACHASSIDUS

Hiskashrus

We will tell over a famous story, but one that has a very important hora’ah for us today!

A shliach once wanted to make a big peulah, to make a Kiddush Hashem for many people where he lived. He decided to make a concert one Sunday in a hall that could hold hundreds and hundreds of people!

On the Friday before the concert, there were only 87 people that said they were coming. On Shabbos, the shliach cried, and in his mind, asked the Rebbe to help him.

On Sunday, more than 1,000 people came to the peulah!

The shliach’s bubby was there, and she was so proud! She went into Yechidus the next day, and the Rebbe asked about the concert. She told the Rebbe how wonderful it was, and how many people were there. The Rebbe said, “and yesterday your grandson (the shliach) was so worried!”

The Rebbe hears everything we ask from him, even if we can’t see it! He answers us, helping us to do our shlichus and bring Moshiach closer.

 

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TEFILLAH

Hiskashrus With Hashem

Usually, people translate the word Tefillah as “prayer.” Prayer means to ask for something that you need or want. Even though it is true that we do ask for things in davening, that’s not all that Tefillah means!

In Chumash and Mishnayos, we see that one meaning of the shoresh of the word Tefillah is to connect. (For example, Rochel named Bilhah’s son Naftoli, to show that she was now joining Leah in having children.)

Even if we don’t have something that we need, we still need to daven to Hashem so that we will stay connected!

The neshama of a Yid always is connected to Hashem. But it can’t always feel it, since it is inside of a guf that is busy with Gashmius’dike things like eating and sleeping.

So Hashem set up special times during the day so that we can refresh our connection with Him! Those times are the tefillos we daven a few times throughout the day.

And that’s the main point of davening — to keep our hiskashrus with Hashem strong!

See Likutei Sichos Chelek Beis, p. 410

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Tehillim at Night

The Arizal says that we should not say Tehillim at night.

Many poskim write that there are times that we are allowed to. For example, we can say Tehillim for a sick person at night, for a dangerous situation, or if we are afraid.

In a letter, the Rebbe writes that we still do not say the Tehillim of Chitas at night! We should say the shiur of Tehillim either before Tzeis Hakochavim or after Chatzos in the middle of the night.

The only times during the year when there is no problem with Tehillim at night are on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

See Piskei Teshuvos siman 238, and Shulchan Menachem siman 143

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Holding the Light of the Geulah

Water is a sign of bracha — but you need a container to hold it in!

The light of Geulah also needs a container to hold it in. That keili is Chassidus! When we spread Chassidus all over the world, we are making keilim to hold the light of the Geulah!

And as soon as the keilim are ready, Hashem will fill them up!

See Igros Kodesh chelek Alef, p. 216

 
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