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CHUMASH

Parshas Ki Savo - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu gives the Yidden instructions for the day they cross the Yardein and go into Eretz Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu, together with the Zekeinim, tell the Yidden that they need to be careful to keep the Torah!

Yidden need to “guard” the Mitzvos, by learning about them and making sure they won’t forget!

Since this is so important, the Yidden will need to do something that will remind them about this important job, right when they come to Eretz Yisroel.

When the Yidden cross the Yarden, they will take 12 stones out of the river. They will take these stones to Har Grizim and Har Eival, where the Kohanim will remind the Yidden what happens if they chas veshalom don’t keep the Torah.

The Yidden will build a Mizbeiach with these big stones, by covering them with a kind of cement so they will stick together. It had to be built this way because we aren’t allowed to use any metal to cut rocks to build a Mizbeiach. Instead, we stick rocks together to fit.

They will write words of Torah on these stones, translated into 70 languages! Then they will bring Korbanos to Hashem on this Mizbeiach.

Now Moshe reminds the Yidden:

Listen carefully! See how much Hashem wants you to always be close to him.

Usually, when a person starts something new they are excited! But later on, they get a little bit bored and they aren’t so careful about it anymore. But the Yidden should feel like (and act like!) they are promising Hashem to be His nation for the very first time, every day!

So keep all of the mitzvos Hashem asks you to do.

 
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TEHILLIM

88 - 89

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes. We also say three kapitelach for Elul: Nun-Beis, Nun-Gimmel, and Nun-Daled.

In Kapitel Pey-Tes, there’s a posuk, “Ki Amarti Olam Chesed Yibaneh” — Hashem said, “I will build a world of chesed.” This means that Hashem makes the world with Chesed!

Chassidus explains that Hashem created the world with the midah of Chesed.

Avraham Avinu was the midah of Chesed. When there were no guests, it bothered him so much! Without someone to GIVE to, you can’t use Chesed.

The same thing is with Hashem! Hashem wanted to show His Chesed, and in order to do that, He created a world to show His Chesed in!

Hashem also gave each of us the Midah of Chesed! We need to use it, to show Ahavas Yisroel to another Yid.

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Vov

Today the Alter Rebbe gives us some examples of how we use the kochos of our Neshama in living the way Hashem wants:

Chesed (loving, giving): A Yid loves Hashem and wants to act in the ways of Hashem. We want to have good middos, especially those that we learn from the stories in the Torah and from Tzadikim.

Gevurah (strict): To fight with our Yetzer Hara, because we are afraid that we shouldn’t do anything that will make Hashem not happy.

Tiferes (beauty): We look at the mitzvos that we do as the most precious and beautiful things, so we buy the best Mezuzos and Tefillin and do all other mitzvos in the nicest way.

Netzach (winning): When we know something is right, we stand very strong and don’t let anything make us change our minds or let us act in the wrong way.

Hod (thanking, acknowledging): To thank Hashem and our parents for all of the good things that they do for us because we realize all they have done for us.

Yesod (connection): To have a geshmak and chayus in acting the way a Yid should.

Malchus: To have Kabolas Ol. To know that Hashem is in charge and that we have to do what He wants, even though we might understand or want something different.

Now here are some examples of how we can use the kochos of our neshama called Mochin — the way we think — to live the way a Yid should.

Chochma: When a Yid learns Torah and chassidus and starts to think about it.

Binah: Taking what we learned and finding examples, so that it becomes more real, comparing it to other things we know and trying to figure out what is the real point of what we learned.

Daas: Making it personal, so that you feel excited about what you learned.

We saw in this letter how every Yid can learn about Hashem and how to have a chayus in Yiddishkeit from the kochos in our Neshama. We also know now that the kochos of our neshama can be used to help us understand a little bit of the Sefiros of Hashem!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Ches Elul

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn two “Torahs” for the Baal Shem Tov. First the Rebbe tells us something we need to know for this Shabbos, and about what happened on Chai Elul.

In this week’s parsha, Ki Savo, we have the Tochacha — the very scary things that happen if the Yidden don’t keep the Torah chas veshalom. We don’t give anyone this Aliyah, so the Baal Koreh who reads the Torah says the brachos for this Aliyah on his own, without being called up.

Chai Elul is the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov in the year Tof-Nun-Ches. On his 26th birthday (Chai Elul), his teacher Achiya Hashiloni came to him to teach him. Then, 10 years later, the Baal Shem Tov stopped hiding that he was a Tzadik, and started helping lots of Yidden.

Chai Elul is also the birthday of the Alter Rebbe, who was born in the year Tof-Kuf-Hey.

The Frierdiker Rebbe tells us something very interesting about what we’re learning in today’s Hayom Yom:

The Rebbe Rashab would never say a Maamar until he felt that the Maamar was really a part of him. He would sometimes go to the Ohel of the Rebbe Maharash especially to prepare for the maamar. One of these times was right before Chai Elul in the year 5652. That year, Chai Elul was on Shabbos, and the Rebbe Rashab went to the Ohel on Friday to prepare for the Maamar he would say on Shabbos.

The Rebbe Rashab said later that for every good thing a person does, Hashem rewards him! Because he made sure to get ready for the Maamar, he got a special present: On Shabbos, the Rebbe Maharash came to him, and told him to come hear Torah from the Baal Shem Tov in Gan Eden. There they heard seven “Torahs” from the Baal Shem Tov. (We learn two of these in today’s Hayom Yom!) Many neshamos of Chassidim were there in Gan Eden to hear these Torahs, including Neshamos of women.

The Rebbe explains a lot about these “Torahs,” and it’s printed in Keser Shem Tov (the sefer of the Baal Shem Tov). The way we learn today’s Hayom Yom is based on the Rebbe’s explanation.

The first “Torah” (like a Maamar) of the Baal Shem Tov was after Kabolas Shabbos.

The Baal Shem Tov gave a deeper explanation of the first posuk in this week’s Parsha, “Vehaya Ki Savo,” about bringing bikurim.

He explained that a person’s Neshama can get a special feeling of wanting very much to do something for Hashem. This feeling is a present from Hashem, that we get just for being a Yid!

What happens when we get this feeling? It shouldn’t just feel good, it needs to actually make us DO something! Just like we need to put bikurim into a basket, we also need to put this feeling into doing a mitzvah. First of all, it needs to give us chayus in our own learning Torah.

But that’s not enough! It also needs to help us act in a way that will help people around us get more excited about THEIR Yiddishkeit. In fact, that’s why Hashem sends us to different places — to help others with their Yiddishkeit!

Whenever a Yid comes to a place, even if he is coming because HE needs something, like for Parnasa, he needs to know that Hashem brought him there for a Ruchnius reason too! He needs to bring Hashem there, by helping other people with their Yiddishkeit.

After this Maamar, and after the Rebbe Rashab davened Maariv, he heard another Maamar in Gan Eden. It was based on the same Maamar, but there was another part:

The Baal Shem Tov said that it is not enough to just get excited to do what Hashem wants because our neshama feels that way, like a present from Hashem. Yes it is a very strong feeling, but Hashem wants US to do Avodah, to serve Hashem with our OWN kochos, not just from kochos Hashem gives us as a present!

So what do we do? We need to have Mesiras Nefesh to GO places to spread Yiddishkeit (like going on Shlichus!), and not just wait until we are there for a different reason.

How do we spread Yiddishkeit? By saying a bracha and saying Tehillim, by ourselves and with other Yidden who need to be taught — and that is something that makes Hashem very happy!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #44 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321) is the same as yesterday’s — not to go out of the Techum Shabbos. The Techum Shabbos is an area of 2,000 amos (about 1 kilometer, or over a half mile) surrounding the city. We aren’t allowed to travel past that point on Shabbos.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Beshalach: אַל יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי

It means, “No person should leave his place on the seventh day.” The Gemara says that this means not to go more than 2,000 amos outside of the city. The Mechilta (a midrash on the Chumash) also teaches that this posuk is talking about not going out of the Techum Shabbos.

The Gemara in Mesechta Eiruvin teaches us the halachos about this mitzvah, and tells us that if someone does go outside of the Techum Shabbos, they get Malkos.

We will IY”H learn the halachos and details of this mitzvah in Rambam in two days!

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Shabbos

In today’s Rambam, we learn about not doing a sh’vus. A sh’vus is something which the Chachomim said is asur either because it is LIKE the way we do a melacha, or because it is something that might make someone forget and actually DO the melacha. Many of the things we don’t do on Shabbos are because of sh’vus.

All three perakim today (Chof-Alef, Chof-Beis, and Chof-Gimmel) teach us about different kinds of sh’vus. The Rambam organizes them according to which melacha they are based on.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Mikvaos - Perek Tes

Perek Tes teaches us six levels of Mikvah. The highest level is a spring of water. This level of Mikvah needs to be used for things like the water that gets mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah (Mei Nidah) which needs water with the highest level of tahara!

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Chassidishe Yom Tov

In today’s Hayom Yom, we see that there are two special birthdays today! We have the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, and the Alter Rebbe.

The Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe are very connected. The Baal Shem Tov taught that EVERYONE could serve Hashem, and the Alter Rebbe continued the Baal Shem Tov’s work, by making it possible for everyone to learn and understand Chassidus.

Still, the way of Chassidus of the Baal Shem Tov is very different than the way of Chassidus of the Alter Rebbe.

The Baal Shem Tov made many nisim, helping Yidden to have a stronger Emunah. By seeing how great Hashem is, the Yidden felt excited to serve Hashem. In Chassidus this is called “Milmaalah Lemata,” that a more Ruchnius’dik koach brings us to do more Avodas Hashem down here.

The Alter Rebbe’s way was different. The Alter Rebbe taught that we need to understand Chassidus in our own minds. We need to work hard on how we think and feel, so that through our avodah, we can connect to Hashem. In Chassidus this is called “Milmata Lemaalah,” that our avodah down here makes us accomplish more in Ruchnius.

The story in today’s Hayom Yom shows us how to use BOTH of these ways together! This is the idea of Chai Elul, that we have the kochos of the Baal Shem Tov AND the Alter Rebbe.

In the story, we see that the Rebbe Rashab heard a Torah from the Baal Shem Tov in Gan Eden. Hearing something in Gan Eden, and being able to tell it to the rest of us, is a mofes, a neis! But the Rebbe Rashab took that Torah that he got through a neis, and taught it in a way that Chassidim would understand it. Using their own kochos, they would take this Torah and use it to make their Avodas Hashem better.

This is both ways in Chassidus together! On Chai Elul, we get the koach to do the avodah of the Baal Shem Tov, together with the avodah of Chassidus Chabad, taught by the Rebbeim.

See Hisvaaduyos 5747, vol. 4, p. 335

 

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TEFILLAH

Shir Hamaalos

There is a minhag from the Arizal about adding Kapitel Kuf-Lamed, Shir Hamaalos, in davening during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, including on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We add it right after Yishtabach, before the bracha of Yotzer Ohr.

This kapitel has many deep explanations in Chassidus, starting from Likutei Torah, where the Alter Rebbe explains the pesukim of this kapitel with a lot of details.

Kapitel Kuf-Lamed starts with the words “Shir Hamaalos, Mimaakim Kerasicha Hashem” — “A song that brings us higher: From the deep places I called out to You, Hashem!”

The Alter Rebbe explains that during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Hashem is VERY close to Yidden. It’s like the mashal of holding a fire close to sparks. Those sparks will very easily and very quickly burst into flame and become part of the fire! During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Hashem is THAT close to Yidden (“Kiruv HaMa’or El HaNitzutz”)!

During these special days, we can become inspired to connect and be close to Hashem very easily. So during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we do the avodah of “Mimaamakim,” “from the deep places.” We reach deep into our neshama, and bring out kochos that help us fill up any “holes” in our avodah of the year. We are able to fix up anything that was missing, like mitzvos we didn’t do properly, or chances we missed to do good things.

To remind us to do this special avodah, we say Kapitel Kuf-Lamed every day of Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, right after finishing our praise of Hashem in Pesukei Dezimra!

(It is not our minhag to open up the Aron Kodesh when we say this kapitel as some have the minhag, or to repeat each line after the Chazan. The Chazan just finishes off the last section as usual.)

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Bentching on Rosh Hashana

On Rosh Hashana during bentching, we say the paragraph Yaaleh Veyavo, like on each Yom Tov. We ask Hashem, “Vezachreinu Letovah Beyom Hazikaron Hazeh!” “Remember us for good on this day of remembering (Rosh Hashana)!”

Because we don’t usually say Yaaleh Veyavo, if someone is not paying attention, it is easy to forget.

If you realize right away, before saying Hashem’s name in Uvenei, you should go back and say Yaaleh Veyavo right there. If you realized after saying Hashem’s name in the bracha of Uvenei, you finish the bracha, and then say the short bracha printed in the siddur just for times like this.

But if you already started the next bracha — even if you just said the word “Baruch” — the halacha is different. If it is the NIGHT of Rosh Hashana, you need to go back to the beginning of bentching.

If it is the DAYTIME seudah of Rosh Hashana, you just finish bentching, you don’t have to go back.

Why is the halacha different at night or during the day?

The seudah of the nights of Rosh Hashana is a mitzvah. Part of the mitzvah of eating a meal includes praising Hashem for the Yom Tov in bentching. If we forget to do that part of the mitzvah, we need to go back!

But there is not a chiyuv to eat a seudah during the day on Rosh Hashana the way there is at night. So if we forget to say Yaaleh Veyavo, we don’t miss out on part of the mitzvah.

Later on in bentching, we also say a special Horachaman, asking Hashem to give us a good new year! “Horachaman Hu Yechadesh Aleinu Es Hashana Hazos Letova Velivracha.”

See Shevach Hamoadim, Kitzur Hilchos Yomim Nora’im, siman Tes

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

To Help the Yidden

When Moshiach comes, people from all of the nations of the world will want to come along with the Yidden. They will want to help the Yidden, because they want to be connected to Hashem!

The Navi Zechariah tells us that MANY goyim will want to come along!

כֹּה אָמַר ה׳ צְבָאוֹת בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה אֲשֶׁר יַחֲזִיקוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִכֹּל לְשֹׁנוֹת הַגּוֹיִם וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ בִּכְנַף אִישׁ יְהוּדִי לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה עִמָּכֶם כִּי שָׁמַעְנוּ אֱלֹקִים עִמָּכֶם

Ko Amar Hashem Tzva’os — This is what Hashem says:

Bayamim Haheima — In those days of the Geulah

Asher Yachaziku Asara Anashim Mikol Leshonos Hagoyim — There will be ten people from each of the languages of the goyim

Vehecheziku Bichnaf Ish Yehudi — And they will grab onto the corner of a Yid’s clothing.

Leimor — They will say:

Neilcha Imachem — “We want to go along with you

Ki Shamanu Elokim Imachem — Because we heard that Hashem is with you!”

Rashi says that this posuk tells us how many people will be grabbing onto each of the corners of a Yid’s Tallis. There will be 10 people for each of the 70 languages of the world — 700 people for each corner of the Tallis! So there will be 2,800 people following each Yid, asking to go along with him to serve Hashem. That’s a lot of people!

The Rebbe asks, what will we do with 2,800 people wanting to help us so they can be a part of serving Hashem? We don’t have that many things we need help with!

The Rebbe answers that this is another question we will need to ask Moshiach — he will tell us what to do!

See Zechariah perek Ches posuk Chof-Gimmel, MiGolah L’Geulah p. 259

 
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