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Parshas Chayei Sarah - Chamishi with Rashi

Eliezer was sent on a shlichus by Avraham to find a wife for Yitzchak. He discussed it with Rivkah’s family, and they agreed to the shidduch. Today we learn that Eliezer tries to make things happen sooner, and has hatzlacha! He brings Rivkah back, and she marries Yitzchak.

Eliezer took out gold and silver jewelry and clothing and gave them to Rivkah. He gave fruits from Eretz Yisroel to her brother Lavan and her mother Milka.

Eliezer and the men with him ate and drank, and slept over that night.

In the morning, Lavan and Milka said that she should follow their custom and stay home for a year to get all the jewelry she needs. Since she only got SOME jewelry from Eliezer, she needs at least 10 months.

Why did only Lavan and Milka say this? Where was her father Besuel? Rashi tells us that Besuel had plans to stop Eliezer from doing his shlichus, so a malach came and he died that night.

Eliezer answered them, “Don’t make me wait now! I showed you that all of Avraham’s money belongs to Yitzchak, and everyone agreed that this is from Hashem. She doesn’t need to get jewelry herself!”

Lavan and his mother decided to ask Rivkah what she wanted to do.

Rivkah said that she wanted to go, even if her mother and brother didn’t want. So they said goodbye to Rivkah, and sent her along with the woman who fed her when she was little. They gave her a bracha that Avraham’s brachos should come true through her and her children (to have many descendants, and inherit their enemies’ lands).

Rivkah went on the camels, following Eliezer.

Yitzchak had just come from Be’er Lachai Ro’i, where he was bringing Hagar back to remarry Avraham, so he would have a wife.

Yitzchak went out to the field to daven Mincha — he was the first one to daven Mincha! He looked up and saw camels coming. When Rivkah saw Yitzchak, she realized he was very holy, and slid partway off of her camel. She asked Eliezer who that person was. Eliezer told her it was his master, and Rivkah covered herself with her veil.

Eliezer told Yitzchak about everything that had happened, how Hashem had made nisim for him to find the right person. Yitzchak brought her into Sarah’s tent to be in charge of the house. Right away he saw that Rivkah was like his mother Sarah — all of Sarah’s nisim came back when Rivkah was in the tent!

Yitzchak saw that Rivkah deserved to be the next of the Imahos, and married her. Yitzchak loved her, and now was comforted from when Sarah passed away.



119 (first half)

Today’s shiur Tehillim is the first half of Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes.

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Chaver Oni Lechol Asher Yereiucha Uleshomrei Pikudecha” — “I am a friend to those who fear You (Hashem) and who keep Your mitzvos.”

From this posuk we can learn that when we see others doing a mitzvah, we should try to help out if we can — like a good friend!

In many of the Rebbe’s letters and sichos, the Rebbe would use this posuk to explain why he will give money for a project or mosad that is doing good things — “Chaver Oni Lechol Asher Yereiucha!” (You can also see the Rebbe quoting this posuk in videos from Dollars!)



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Lamed-Alef

In this letter, the Alter Rebbe will explain to us the importance of Ahavas Yisroel and that we need it to bring the Geulah!

Hashem and the Yidden are compared to a heart and a body. The Shechinah is like the heart which gives the Yidden chayus, and all of the Yidden are like the body which receives its chayus from Hashem.

How does a body live? The heart pumps blood, which has chayus, to all the parts of the body to give them chayus, and then the blood goes back to the heart.

As long as there are no places where the blood will get stuck, the blood can go to all places and the whole body will be healthy. But if chas veshalom one of the places where the blood needs to go gets smaller or blocked, the whole person can become sick!

That’s also how Hashem gives Yidden our chayus. The chayus flows to every single Yid, all over the world. We share our chayus with each other, just like the blood flows from one part of the body to the other. But if we don’t have Ahavas Yisroel and the chayus gets “stuck” because we don’t want to have anything to do with another Yid or group of Yidden, then Yidden can’t all be healthy chas veshalom! Not only does it hurt the Yidden, but it hurts the Shechinah, which is like the “heart” that gives chayus to the Yidden.

That’s why the Chachomim say that the reason for the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash was because of Sinas Chinam. It’s also why the Zohar says that after the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Shechinah is called “sick” in Golus. The Yidden didn’t have enough Ahavas Yisroel, making them ALL be “sick” in Golus... and the Shechinah is too.

But when we make a place in our heart for every single Yid, and help each other as much as we can, it makes all of the Yidden feel better! Then the Shechinah feels better too, until there is no more reason for Golus and Moshiach can come right away!



Chof-Hey Mar-Cheshvan

Hashem puts every Yid in the place where they live for a purpose. Hashem wants us to make sure that Yiddishkeit in these places is strong and that we teach the Torah to as many people as we can.

We can learn from a farmer. Something will grow only when he plows the field and plants the seeds. It is the same for us — when we work hard to “plow and sow” Yiddishkeit in the places that we live, something will for sure grow.



Shiur #126 - Mitzvas Asei #126, #129

Today we learn the first 2 mitzvos about Terumah:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #126) That we need to give the first part of the food we grow, called Terumah Gedolah, to the kohen. (This mitzvah is only kept in Eretz Yisroel.)

2) (Mitzvas Asei #129) The Leviim need to give maaser from the maaser they get from Yidden, to give to the kohen. This is called “Terumas Maaser” or “Maaser Min HaMaaser.” They need to give the BEST part to the kohen!



Hilchos Terumos

In today’s Rambam, we are starting to learn the halachos of Terumos. There are 8 mitzvos in these 15 perakim. Three mitzvos about separating the Terumah, and five mitzvos are about who can eat it.

Perek Alef: The Rambam starts talking about WHERE the food needs to grow to need to take Terumah.

Perek Beis: Then the Rambam talks about the KINDS of foods that need Terumah, like if we need to take Terumah from Leket, or Pe’ah, or Hefker foods. We learn what happens if the food becomes tomei or mixed up with other foods. We also learn about making a bracha when we take Terumah, and not taking it outside of Eretz Yisroel, because it will become Tamei.

Perek Gimmel: Now we learn the first 3 mitzvos, which are: separating Terumah, separating Terumas Maaser, and doing them in the right order.



Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Yud-Ches

We learn how much a person has to carry to be punished for the melacha of carrying on Shabbos. There are different amounts, depending on the type of thing. (Of course, it is still asur to carry any amount!)

At the end of this perek, there is an interesting halacha: If a person carries a tiny amount of food inside even a very big keili, he is not punished, because he is trying to carry the food, and not the container. The Rebbe once used this halacha to show that since the main thing a person wants is his sefarim , it is as if the house is full of seforim — a Bayis Molei Seforim! The rest of the house is just there for the main thing, the sefarim!



Chof-Hey Cheshvan

Today is the yartzeit of the Rebbe’s youngest brother-in-law, R’ Mendel Horenstein, who was married to the Frierdiker Rebbe’s youngest daughter, Rebbetzin Shaina. He died Al Kiddush Hashem during the Holocaust, HY”D.

Today is also an important day connected to the day of Didan Notzach, Hey Teves.

Even though the main Nitzachon of the sefarim happened on Hey Teves in the year Tof-Shin-Mem-Zayin, it wasn’t complete until the next year, on Chof-Hey Cheshvan. Even after the court ruled that the seforim belong to the Rebbe and to Chassidim, there was still an appeal, another chance to argue with the decision.

On Chof-Hey Cheshvan Tof-Shin-Mem-Ches, the court ruled on the appeal. They said that the decision made on Hey Teves would stay, and the seforim should go back to the Rebbe and to the Chassidim!

This is similar to what we will learn in Hayom Yom, that even after the Alter Rebbe came out of jail on Yud-Tes Kislev, he was put back into jail another time later until he was finally freed once and for all.


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In today’s Chumash, Chamishi of Parshas Chayei Sarah, we learn that Yitzchak Avinu davened Mincha.

Chassidus explains that davening is not only a time to ask for our needs, tefillah is also a time of connecting ourselves with Hashem.

Our koach, and the hatzlacha we have in everything we do, depends on our connection with Hashem.

Every morning, we spend time to make that connection strong, by davening Shacharis. But it slowly becomes weaker during the day because we are busy with Gashmius things. So in the middle of everything we are doing, we stop and daven Mincha.

The Alter Rebbe says in Shulchan Aruch that even women need to be careful to daven Mincha (at least Shemoneh Esrei) to refresh their connection with Hashem.

That way, we are connected to Hashem the entire day, which brings bracha and hatzlacha in everything we do.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Beis p. 410, Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 106:2



Driving at Night

Did you ever go on a long trip in a car?

If we drive at night, the Rebbe says that we shouldn’t just drive straight through. We should stop every hour for about 10 minutes.

See Mikdash Melech vol. 4 p. 490, Shulchan Menachem vol 1 p. 357

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



When We Least Expect It

The Gemara in Sanhedrin says that Moshiach will come “Behesech Hadaas,” which means when we don’t think about it or when we don’t expect it.

But we need to be thinking about Moshiach all the time! In davening, we say “Lishuascha Kivinu Kol Hayom,” “I hope that Hashem will save us all day!”

One explanation is that Moshiach will come at a time when we think it really doesn’t make sense. Like when we compare our generation to the tzadikim of many years ago, we might think that Moshiach can’t come now!

But ESPECIALLY now, when we might think that our dor really doesn’t deserve for Moshiach to come — this is the BEST time for Moshiach to come, Behesech Hadaas — when we expect it least!

See Likutei Sichos vol. 10, p. 172

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