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Parshas Korach - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn about a big sickness that causes Yidden to die, and how Aharon Hakohen uses the ketores to stop the plague.

Hashem saw that the Yidden were complaining about what happened to Korach. It seemed that all of the Yidden agreed with Korach.

Hashem said that Moshe and Aharon should move away, and Hashem will punish ALL of the Yidden. The Yidden started to pass away from a terrible sickness! Moshe and Aharon didn’t know what to do! What could they tell Hashem so He wouldn’t be upset with the Yidden?

Suddenly Moshe remembered that the Malach Hamoves told him (when he was up on Har Sinai) that Ketores can stop this kind of sickness. Moshe quickly asked Hashem if he could use it, and Hashem agreed. So Moshe told Aharon to go run and get Ketores and fire from the Mizbeiach to save the Yidden.

Aharon got the Ketores, and ran into the crowd of Yidden — and the sickness stopped.

At first, the Malach Hamoves was upset that Aharon wasn’t letting him do the job Hashem gave him! But Hashem gave instructions to the Malach Hamaves that people should stop dying from the sickness.

Before this happened, people thought that the ketores was just dangerous. Nadav and Avihu died when they brought it, and the 250 people who listened to Korach did too. But now the Yidden could all see that the Ketores wasn’t dangerous — in fact it saved them! They understood that it is the AVEIROS that are dangerous!



145 - 150

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh, so today we finish the whole sefer Tehillim for this month!

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim is very special! It starts with the words “Tehillah LeDovid,” which is the third posuk of Ashrei. We say Ashrei three times every day in davening! (Twice in Shacharis and once in Mincha.) Ashrei goes in the order of the Alef-Beis — one posuk for each letter (except for Nun).

The posuk that starts with Zayin is “Zecher Rav Tuvcha Yabiu,” “They will tell over to the next generation what they remember about Hashem’s great goodness.”

Once a chossid was standing near his Rebbe during davening. When the Rebbe said these words in Ashrei, the chossid remembered everything that happened to him, from the day he was born!

There is a long maamar of the Alter Rebbe in his “Siddur Im Dach” (Siddur with maamorim of Chassidus) that explains this posuk. (This is one of the early maamarim that the Mitteler Rebbe chazered at the beginning of his Nesius, as mentioned in the Hayom Yom of Lamed Av.)

When the Rebbe said the posukZecher Rav Tuvcha” in davening, he would say the word Zecher twice (like we do when we lein the part of the Torah that talks about remembering Amalek) — “Zeicher Zecher” — once with a tzeirei and once with a segol.



Shaar Hayichud Veha'emunah Perek Ches

We are learning Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah. Until now we learned about the Yichud part, understanding how Hashem is one even though it looks like the world is separate. Now we will learn about the Emunah part, why we need to accept this with Emunah and can’t understand it with any mashal.

We’ve been learning in Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah how to do the mitzvah of “Da Es Elokei Avicha,” knowing Hashem. Hashem gave us kochos in our neshama through which we can learn to understand Hashem — because these are an expression of HASHEM’s kochos!

- For example, just like with our sechel we can know things, Hashem knows everything in the world with His chochmah, and that is what gives it chayus! (That’s called the chayus of Sovev Kol Almin.)

- Just like when we are kind we share with others, Hashem uses His chesed to share His goodness in the world.

- Just like we use our gevurah to hide the way we feel from others, Hashem uses His gevurah to hide Himself so we won’t be able to see Him and the world will be able to exist.

- Even though we could just talk all day, we say specific words to give other people a specific message. The same way, Hashem has a koach which is Ein Sof, but He uses specific words (the Asara Maamaros) to make each part of the world look like the way we see it now.

Even though not all of these mashalim are EXACT, they still help us to understand Hashem.

But there is one thing that is VERY different by Hashem, and we have no mashal for it! What we know, what we feel, what we say, and what we do are all different things. Also, if we learn something new, it means that now we know MORE — something changed.

But with Hashem, it’s not that way! “Ata Hu Ad Shelo Nivra Haolam, Ata Hu Mishenivrah Haolam” — after the world was created, it is just like before — nothing changed. And all of the kochos of Hashem are not separate things, they are all one, because Hashem is One! This is something that every Yid believes, even though we can’t understand it.

That’s why this part of Tanya is called Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah, because first we learn as much as we can to understand Hashem using the mashalim Hashem made. But when we run out of mashalim, we use our emunah to know that “Hashem Echad!”

So we have no mashal to understand Achdus Hashem, how Hashem — together with all of His chochmah and His midos and all of the malochim and all of the Ruchnius and all of the Gashmius and the whole world — is one with Him.

Actually, we don’t even have a mashal to understand Hashem at all! We have mashalim to understand the Ruchnius sefiros Hashem created, like chesed and gevurah, because Hashem put those kochos into our neshamos too. But Hashem is not just His sefiros, and there is no way that a person can really understand that!

Of course, if we can’t understand Hashem at all, we for sure can’t understand how all the many creations of Hashem are one with Him!

Over the next few days the Alter Rebbe will show us the mashalim we have for each of our kochos, and how even the highest koach of the neshama tells us only about a koach Hashem created, and nothing about Hashem.

Today, we will learn which is the highest koach of our neshama. Then we’ll see how this mashal tells us nothing about Hashem (Hakadosh Baruch Hu bichvodo uve’atzmo).

There are five levels in how the neshama expresses itself. From lowest to highest:

1) Maaseh: (doing)

2) Dibur: (talking)

3) Machshava: (thinking)

4) Midos: (feeling)

5) Chochmah: (knowing)

Even chochmah, which is the highest, really isn’t a mashal for Hashem!

That’s why when we think about Hashem, we have Emunah in Hashem’s greatness and Emunah in how Hashem is one with everything He created. We use our mashalim (that Hashem wants us to use) for the little bit we are given permission to know.



Lamed Sivan

Today we learn about our minhag for Haavaras Hasedra, about the difference between Gashmius and Ruchnius and why they are opposites, and about the midah of being Sameiach Bechelko, happy with what we have.

There is a halacha that every week we need to do something called “Haavaras Hasedra,” or “Shnayim Mikra Ve’Echad Targum.” We need to lein every posuk of that week’s parsha two times — one time with teitch (translation). The Chachomim chose Targum Onkelos, which translates the Chumash into Aramaic.

Some have a minhag to lein the whole parsha two times, and then to read through the whole Targum Onkelos. But that’s not Minhag Chabad. Our minhag is to lein each posuk twice, and then Targum Onkelos, before going on to the next posuk. We also lein the Haftorah of the Parsha, and the haftorah we read in shul if they’re different (like if it’s Rosh Chodesh and we need to lein a special Rosh Chodesh Haftorah).

Today the Rebbe teaches us that Ruchnius and Gashmius are opposites. Something that is GOOD in Gashmius, might NOT be good in Ruchnius.

One example for this is the midah of “Sameach BeChelko” — being happy with what we have. If we are happy with our Gashmius, that’s great! We will be able to use all of our energy for the real important things.

But to be “Sameach BeChelko” in Ruchnius can be terrible! A person should never feel like he has enough Torah, Yiras Shomayim, Hiskashrus, or Ahavas Yisroel. Even someone who did many special things needs to always feel like he has to do even better.



Shiur #304 - Mitzvas Asei #246

We are learning the same mitzvah again in Sefer Hamitzvos, (Mitzvas Asei #246) that the Beis Din needs to pasken according to halacha when there is a question about money.



Hilchos To'ein Venit'an

We are learning halachos about when two people disagree in Beis Din about what belongs to them.

Perek Zayin: One halacha in this perek is that if someone says something in Beis Din, he can’t change his mind and say he was joking.

Perek Ches: Usually, the halacha is that we assume that whatever a person has belongs to him. If another person says the opposite, that person would need to prove that it really belongs to him. But for something that is usually rented, the halacha is different. So let’s say that Reuven usually rents out his lawn mower, and people know he does. Now Shimon has it in his house and says that Reuven gave it to him! Reuven is allowed to make a Shevuas Heses (a promise Miderabanan) saying that he didn’t give it to Shimon, and then he can take it back.

Perek Tes: In this perek, we learn some of the Halachos about what happens if two people are holding onto something, and both of them say it belongs to them. In Mishnayos, this halacha is called “Shnayim Ochazin BeTallis” — “Two people are holding on to a tallis.”

The halacha is that both people need to take a shevuah, a very strong kind of promise, that it belongs to them, and then the Beis Din splits it (or how much it is worth) between both of them.

Chassidus teaches us about this halacha, that in Ruchnius it is talking about two people who say that a certain mitzvah was done because of them. (Like if a teacher and a student both want to say it was THEIR mitzvah that the student was successful in learning Torah.) Each person needs to make a promise to say how hard they really worked on this mitzvah, and that’s how much of the mitzvah they get.



Hilchos Metamei Mishkav U'Moshav - Perek Tes

We learn what happens if a person with “body” tumah people bangs into something and makes it fall. We also learn about times when things get Tumas Midras because they MIGHT have become Tomei.



Hachana L'Gimmel Tammuz

The Rebbe stayed with us here to prepare us for the Geulah! We go to the Ohel to get the kochos we need to do our shlichus properly.

Moshe Rabbeinu wanted so much that his holy Guf should be in Eretz Yisroel until Moshiach comes. But Hashem told him that He doesn’t want that — Moshe needs to stay with the Yidden in the place where he was their Rebbe.

Even though it was better for Moshe to be in Eretz Yisroel, it was more important for him to be in the same place as his nation.

The Rebbe says that the same thing is true with the Rebbeim. Really it’s better for a person to have their Guf in Eretz Yisroel until Moshiach comes. But since a Rebbe’s whole life is to help his Chassidim, his holy Guf stays together in the place where he was their Rebbe. This way, his Chassidim can come and get kochos until they all go together to Yerushalayim when Moshiach comes.

That’s why the Rebbe’s Ohel is in New York, and not in Eretz Yisroel. That’s also why it’s so important to GO to the Ohel, because that’s why the Rebbe stayed there — so that we can go to the Ohel and get kochos. With these kochos, we will be ready to go WITH the Rebbe to the Geulah Sheleimah — may this happen immediately!

See sicha Yud Shevat Tof-Shin-Yud-Daled


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Ribono Shel Olam Hareini Mochel

In the beginning of the paragraph “Ribono Shel Olam,” we forgive anyone who may have hurt us.

In the second half of this paragraph, we ask Hashem to take away our aveiros. If we did anything wrong, Hashem should help us break these habits so we don’t do it again. Usually one of the ways to take away an aveira is by the person suffering. We ask Hashem to erase our aveiros with Rachamim, not Chas Veshalom by making us sick or causing us pain!

We finish off with the same words we say at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, “Yihiyu Leratzon Imrei Fi,” that Hashem should accept our tefillah.

(In the two halves of Ribono Shel Olam, we are mochel other people, and we ask Hashem to be mochel us. We know that Hashem acts with us the way we act with others. When we forgive others, Hashem will forgive us too.)



Bein Adam Lechaveiro

Treating others nicely
Is a mentchlich thing to do.
But it’s not just about manners —
It’s a mitzvah, too!

There are many halachos that teach us how to act when we are dealing with other people.

Here is one halacha:

Let’s say your friend Avi tells you about a neat trip he went on. You think it’s really interesting, and you want to ask Levi what he thinks. No problem, right?

Actually, there is a problem!

Whenever someone tells us something, the halacha is that we need to treat it as private, unless the other person TELLS us that we are allowed to talk about it. We can’t share what another person told us unless he specifically tells us that it is okay!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Masa Umatan, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov, se’if yud-daled

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



The Small Will Become Great

The Navi Yeshaya tells us something special that will happen at the time of the Geulah! Nowadays there are many people who don’t think they are important, and many families that feel very small. Look what the Navi says will happen when it’s time for the Geulah to come!

הַקָּטֹן יִהְיֶה לָאֶלֶף וְהַצָּעִיר לְגוֹי עָצוּם אֲנִי ה׳ בְּעִתָּהּ אֲחִישֶׁנָּה

Hakaton Yihiyeh La’elef — The smallest family will become a thousand

Vehatza’ir Legoy Atzum — And the smallest person will become a great nation!

Ani Hashem — I am Hashem, Who can do this!

Be’ita Achishena — In the right time, I will speed it up to make it happen!

See Yeshaya perek Samach posuk Chof-Beis

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