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Shlishi with Rashi


Moshe is asking Hashem for specific brachos for the Shevatim on the day he will pass away.

Yosef: Moshe gives Shevet Yosef TEN brachos! The first eight brachos are for their part of Eretz Yisroel, that it should grow the best food. In fact, Yosef’s portion of Eretz Yisroel was the best for growing things of the entire land!

The last two brachos are for the great tzadikim who will come from Shevet Yosef, who will win over the goyim who live in Eretz Yisroel and conquer the land. This will happen first through Yehoshua (who comes from Efrayim) and for Gideon (who comes from Menashe) who will have tremendous hatzlacha in fighting the enemies of the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel in later times.


Yissachar and Zevulun work together — Zevulun earns money so that Yissachar can learn Torah. Because Yissachar wouldn’t be able to learn without Zevulun, Moshe gives Zevulun the bracha first!

Zevulun should be happy when they go out to work, and Yissachar should be happy when they sit and learn Torah. Talmidei Chachomim from Shevet Yissachar will learn all about the moon, and they will be the ones to decide when it’s Rosh Chodesh, so all of the korbanos will be at the right times!

Zevulun will earn money by sailing big ships on the ocean, and they will be the ones to get the Chilazon to dye the Techeiles (blue) strings of the Tzitzis! They will also make a Kiddush Hashem and many Goyim that they work with will come to the Beis Hamikdash and become Yidden.

Shevet Gad lives on the other side of the Yarden, with non-Jews living right near him. Hashem should help him to be able to have even more land, and to be able to guard the border of Eretz Yisroel so that nobody can come in to fight with the Yidden. Moshe Rabbeinu will be buried in Shevet Gad (nobody knows EXACTLY where), so it will be a zechus for them.

Of course, Gad will do what they promised and fight in front of the other Yidden to get Eretz Yisroel!


Moshe Rabbeinu gives a bracha to Shevet Dan: They live in a place near the border, and they should be very strong to keep the Yidden safe!

To Shevet Naftali: They are happy with the part of Eretz Yisroel Hashem gave them! They will be able to catch a lot of fish in the Kinneret, which is in their part.

Asher should have many sons. They will make the rest of the Yidden happy because they will trade oil and fruit for grain. Asher’s daughters will be beautiful, and the rest of the Yidden will want to marry them. Shevet Asher will have so much olive oil from the trees that grow in their portion!

The mountains in Asher’s part of Eretz Yisroel have metal which can be dug up from inside, and they keep the Yidden safe from enemies trying to attack Eretz Yisroel from the north.

Now Moshe gives a bracha to ALL of the Yidden:

Your soldiers are strong, and keep the borders of Eretz Yisroel safe, like metal locks!

All of your life will be wonderful, and your parnasa will be as much as you serve Hashem every day.

There is no one like Hashem! Hashem helps you, and keeps you safe.


Because Hashem takes care of the Yidden, the Yidden will each be able to live in Eretz Yisroel, everyone in their own part. They won’t need to be afraid of the Goyim and all want to live close together in the same place!

Moshe doesn’t need to say more details of the brachos — the Yidden have brachos in EVERYTHING!

Now Moshe finished writing the Sifrei Torah, because he will soon go onto Har Nevo to pass away.


This is the very last part of the Torah!

Moshe went up onto Har Nevo, like Hashem told him to. Hashem showed him Eretz Yisroel, and everything that would happen to the Yidden there.

“This is the land I promised to the Avos,” Hashem told Moshe. “I am letting you look at it, but you can’t go in. You will tell the Avos that I did what I promised and gave it to the Yidden!”

Then Hashem took Moshe’s neshama with a “kiss,” like He did with Aharon Hakohen. Hashem buried Moshe Himself on Har Nevo. Hashem didn’t let anyone see exactly where Moshe was buried.

Moshe was 120 years old when he passed away. Because he was a tzadik, even after he passed away, his holy body didn’t change.

All of the men cried for Moshe for a month, because they missed learning his Torah. (When Aharon passed away, the women cried just as much, because Aharon made shalom between them and their husbands.)

Yehoshua became the leader over the Yidden, and they listened to him. Still, there was never another Navi like Moshe — Hashem talked to him “face to face,” he was able to be very brave and able to go to Paraoh, he was very strong to carry the Luchos, he did so many Nissim, and most of all he loved the Yidden so much, that he was ready to save them even when he had to break the Luchos!


And now we will start the whole Torah from the beginning! BEREISHIS!


YOM ECHAD: Bereishis — at the very beginning of Hashem’s creating the world, Hashem just made an empty world that wasn’t organized. He hovered over it, because He wanted to make it the place He would live. So Hashem said, “Let there be light!”

This light wasn’t regular light — it was a special “good” kind of light that made it easy to see the Ruchnius inside everything! But if that light would shine, we wouldn’t be able to CHOOSE to do what Hashem wants, we would KNOW to do it all the time. So Hashem put that part of the light away for when Moshiach comes.

The rest of the light was good too — but it needed to be with “seder” — only shining during the daytime. So Hashem separated the light and the dark — one for day, and one for night.

YOM SHEINI: The whole world was covered with water, and Hashem made that part of the world with “seder” too. Hashem made a sky, and put the part of the water that was like steam over the sky, and the rest of the water He put underneath. (When the water on the bottom complained that it wanted to be closer to Hashem, Hashem told it that the salt from the water would be used on Korbanos!) Hashem called the sky “Shomayim” — meaning that there is water there.

(Hashem also made the Malachim on this day, and Gehennom.)

YOM SHLISHI: Then Hashem made the water to have a Seder — instead of covering the whole world, part of it should go into a place and be the ocean, and the rest of the world should be dry land. This is also when the earth stopped being perfectly round like a ball, and became mountains and valleys and deserts! All the parts of the world were different, so different kinds of people would live there and serve Hashem in different ways.

Hashem saw that it was good, and now He told the earth to grow plants and trees!

Hashem told the trees that they should have seeds to grow more, and the plants also grew with seeds, even though Hashem didn’t tell them to — they did even more than Hashem asked! But Hashem told the trees to make bark that tastes like their fruit, and the trees didn’t listen.

Still, Hashem saw that it was good.

Hashem also made Gan Eden on this day!

YOM REVI’I: Hashem made the sun and moon (and stars and planets!) on the first day, but only today Hashem put them into the sky. They help us know when it is day or night, when time passes, and when it’s Shabbos and Yom Tov!

At first the sun and moon were the same sizes, but the moon complained. So Hashem made it smaller, and gave it stars to shine with it. The moon was still upset, so Hashem promised that the Yidden would bring a Korban every Rosh Chodesh to say sorry for making the moon smaller. When Moshiach comes, the moon will be bigger again!

YOM CHAMISHI: Hashem made the waters fill up with fish, and birds to fly in the sky. Hashem made two big fish called Leviasan, but they were SO big Hashem couldn’t let them have babies — they would take up the whole world! So Hashem killed the girl Leviasan, and saved the fish for a big Seudah when Moshiach comes.

Hashem told the birds and fish to have lots of babies, since some of them will have to be food for each other, and some will have to be Korbanos.

YOM SHISHI: Hashem made all kinds of animals and bugs and creeping kinds of animals on the world. Hashem didn’t give them a bracha to have lots of babies yet, since Hashem didn’t want the snake (who would make trouble) to get the bracha too.

Hashem asked the Malachim in a humble way, “Let US make a person.” (Hashem was also saying that a person will have ALL of the 10 Sefiros, just like Hashem — and animals are made with only one or two Sefiros.) At first some Malachim didn’t want to, but Hashem said that it is only fair — Malachim in Shomayim look like Hashem, so there has to be people on earth that are like Hashem!

Hashem made a person, that was like Hashem — that could understand things. The first person was like a boy AND a girl together! It asked Hashem to make it rain so everything could start to grow. Hashem made it rain, and soon the earth was covered with plants.

Then Hashem separated the person into a boy and a girl (we will learn more about that later!) and gave them a bracha to be in charge of the world. They should make it into a place where we can see Hashem!

Still, only Hashem is REALLY in charge, and they weren’t allowed to kill animals for food. They could eat plants, and animals that passed away by themselves.

Now that there were people, who would be able to make the world into a place for Hashem to live, Hashem saw that the world was VERY good!

SHABBOS: Now that Hashem finished MAKING things, it was time for Shabbos — to make this special resting day that is what Hashem made the world for!

Hashem gave Shabbos a bracha and made it extra-holy. Hashem also rested on Shabbos!


Now the Torah goes back and tells us more about how Hashem made people:

Hashem took dirt from all parts of the world for the body. He also used part of the dirt from the place of the Beis Hamikdash, where we bring Korbanos to do Teshuvah — so that a person is MADE to be able to do Teshuvah.

Even though all the plants started growing IN the ground, they didn’t grow up higher, since there was no rain. Hashem made the ground wet, but it wouldn’t rain until a person would ask for it.

Hashem used this wetness together with the dirt to make like a “dough”, and shaped a person. Hashem blew a Neshama inside, as part of Hashem! He called it “Adam,” a person, from the word “Adamah” — earth, since that’s what it was made of!

Hashem filled Gan Eden with beautiful trees and plants (mostly apple trees) and put the person there.

Now we hear more about Gan Eden: Hashem made two trees in the middle of Gan Eden — a tree of life (Eitz Hachayim) and a tree of knowledge (Eitz Hadaas). Rivers came out of Gan Eden and made the places they flowed to very good!

At first the person didn’t want to go into Gan Eden, because it was afraid of the mitzvos Hashem would give it there — having such a big job to be in charge of the world. Still, Hashem convinced it to go there!

Hashem told it not to eat from the Eitz Hadaas, or else it would die.

Hashem didn’t want the person to look like it didn’t need any help, or it would look like a Hashem! So He decided to split the person into two parts — a man and a woman, who would help him do the right thing.

Hashem wanted the person to WANT to have two parts, so first Hashem asked it to name all of the animals. Once it would see that ALL animals are married, it would want to be married too! The person figured out how to name all of the animals, based on their special kochos!


Even though Adam looked at all the animals, it couldn’t find any for IT to marry! (Remember, Adam was made as a boy and girl together!)

Hashem made the person fall asleep, so it wouldn’t see, and took off the girl side. Hashem brought her to Adam, who called her an “Isha” (woman) since she came from part of a man (“ish”).

Now Hashem gave them a mitzvah to get married! (They did, and they had twins!)

Now the Torah tells us about something that happens later, about Cheit Eitz HaDaas, because it only happened after the snake saw Adam and Chava get married:

The snake was jealous of Adam, HE wanted to get married to Chava! He decided to trick Chava into giving fruit from the Eitz Hadaas to Adam.

The snake asked Chava if she was allowed to eat from all the trees. She said “yes — except for the Eitz Hadaas.” Chava thought that the tree was poisonous, and that’s why they weren’t allowed to. So the snake pushed her against the tree, to show her that it wasn’t poison.

The snake said, “Hashem doesn’t want you to eat from that tree because then you will be like Hashem!” The snake kept on talking to Chava until it convinced her that it would be good to eat from the tree.

The snake was very upset, because instead of giving Adam first, she ate it herself! Then she shared it with Adam, who ate it because he was confused — she was supposed to be helping him!

The fruit of the Eitz Hadaas changed them — now they felt like they were separate from Hashem. They felt bad, and decided to be tznius’dik to try to make up for what happened. Before they were able to get tznius’dik, they heard Hashem calling them!

Hashem said to Adam, “Ayeka? Where are you?” Hashem wanted Adam to tell the truth and say sorry, but at first Adam blamed Chava for making him eat from the fruit. Chava also didn’t say sorry right away — she blamed the snake.

Hashem didn’t make Adam and Chava die right away, since they DID feel bad. But instead of living forever, they would have to die later.

Then Hashem punished all of them:

The snake — Hashem made it not able to talk anymore, and took away its feet so it could only crawl on the ground. People would be able to kill it.

Chava — Hashem made it hard for her to have babies. It would be hard to take care of them, and hard to be pregnant and have babies. She would want to be with her husband, but he will be in charge.

Adam — It would be hard to grow plants for food, and he would have to work very hard.

Now the world wasn’t as holy as it was before — Yidden would need to fix that and make the world a Ruchnius’dike place again!

Now we go back to what we were talking about before — how Hashem made Chava.

Adam named her Chava, since she would be the mother of all living (chai) people.

And back to what happened after Cheit Eitz Hadaas:

Hashem decided to help Adam and Chava become Tznius’dik, and made them special, warm, and comfortable clothes that fit them perfectly. They could have made their own, but Hashem did a chesed for them.



108 - 112

In today’s Tehillim, we have a posuk that says “Reishis Chochma Yiras Hashem” — the beginning of Chochma (the first thing before we get the chochma of Torah) is to have Yiras Hashem.

A person could go to Yeshiva and learn a lot of Torah! Sometimes a person might think he is so smart, he is smarter than his teachers! He thinks he doesn’t need to listen to his parents either!

That’s why we need to have Yiras Shomayim first, because this way (as the Gemara explains), we can make sure that our Torah will only bring to GOOD things!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Gimmel

The Alter Rebbe explained to Chassidim how important it is to use the time when a Minyan is there for holy things. So what should they do when they aren’t davening? Today the Alter Rebbe tells us.

In the Gemara there are special parts where the Chachomim explain pesukim and stories in the Torah. The Arizal writes that these parts of the Gemara, called Ein Yaakov, are very special. It is like the neshama of the Torah, and the secrets of Torah are hidden in these stories and explanations! (Chassidus shows us the Torah secrets that are in many of these parts of Torah.) When we learn it, it makes Hashem forgive our aveiros! It also gives us many eitzos in how to act.

The Alter Rebbe says to learn it between Mincha and Maariv, when the Minyan is there for davening. We should also learn some halachos, so everyone will be sure they are acting the way Hashem wants.

On Shabbos at Mincha time, it is a good idea to learn the halachos of Shabbos. There are many halachos that people don’t know, especially the details that the Chachomim teach us, like the halachos of Muktza. If we don’t learn them, and we don’t know what to do, we can’t say that it’s not our fault!

Everyone should stay and learn TOGETHER (not just something by themselves). If we do this, it will definitely bring Moshiach!



Chof-Gimmel Tishrei

On Simchas Torah, the year after the Alter Rebbe came out of jail, he said a Torah (like a Dvar Torah) about “Avodah Yidden.” When Yidden don’t just learn Torah, but they make sure that the Torah changes them, that is very special! These Yidden have a special connection to Hashem.

The Alter Rebbe explains a posuk in Mishlei according to Chassidus. It shows us how special these “Avodah Yidden” are, and what they do in Ruchnius!



Mitzvas Asei #19

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the same mitzvah again (Mitzvas Asei #19) — to thank Hashem after we eat — that’s bentching! We learn this mitzvah from the posuk in Chumash (that we say in bentching), “Ve’achalta Vesavata Uveirachta Es Hashem,” “And you will eat, and you will be full, and you will bentch Hashem.”

The halachos about this mitzvah were first written down in Gemara Brachos. The Rambam put it in order in the halachos of brachos in Sefer Ahava, which we are learning now. The practical halacha which we follow is in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim (the first section), from siman Kuf-Pey-Beis and on, and in the Alter Rebbe’s final version it is in Seder Birchos Hanehenin.



Hilchos Brachos

Perek Daled: We learn when a person might need to make a bracha again. For example, if you decided to bentch, and then changed your mind and wanted to eat again, you would need to make another bracha — even if you hadn’t bentched yet.

Another halacha we learn is that if you made a bracha and the food got ruined before you could eat it, you should say “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso Le’olam Va’ed” right away. By speaking about the kavod of Hashem right after saying the bracha, the bracha is not counted as being said for no reason.

Perek Hey: In this perek, we learn who is chayav in bentching. Children need to bentch because of Chinuch.

We also learn about making a mezuman.

Perek Vov: In this perek, we learn about washing our hands for a seudah, and Mayim Acharonim. The Rambam says that Netilas Yodayim for a seudah is a mitzvah from the Chachomim, but Mayim Acharonim is for a sakana, so you need to be even MORE careful with Mayim Acharonim!



Hilchos Matnos Aniyim - Perek Vov

Now we will learn the halachos about Maaser. First we review the halachos about the order of giving Terumah and maaser:

1) First we pick whatever grew and prepare it to be used. (For example, we separate the wheat kernels, or we squeeze the juice from the grapes.)

2) Then we take 1/50th for Terumah Gedolah, which goes to the Kohen.

3) Next we take 1/10th of what’s left for Maaser Rishon, which goes to the Levi. (He needs to take Terumas Hamaaser, 1/10th of what he got, for the Kohen.)

4) Finally, we take another 1/10th of what is left for Maaser Sheini. On the first, second, fourth, and fifth years after Shemitah, this is for the owner to eat in Yerushalayim. On the 3rd and 6th years, it is Maaser Oni — for the poor.

When a person has Maaser Oni, he needs to give any poor person that comes to his field at least enough to make him full. If he has a poor relative or friend, he can set aside up to half of the Maaser for him. If he has Maaser Ani at home, he can go give it to a certain person if he wants, or else he needs to give at least a kezayis to anyone who comes and asks.



VeYaakov Halach LeDarko

On Simchas Torah during the day, it is also a minhag to make a farbrengen before the end of Yom Tov

At the Rebbe’s farbrengen on Simchas Torah, the Rebbe would remind chassidim to make a hachlata to learn Chitas for the coming year.

In the year Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis, at the end of the farbrengen, the Rebbe mentioned Chitas three or four times! After bentching, the Rebbe stood up and AGAIN said that he is reminding everyone about learning Chitas. Today we need an extra special reminder because the Chitas is so long!

On Motzei Simchas Torah the gabbai makes an announcement in Shul: “Veyaakov Halach Ledarko!” (Yaakov went on his way). This reminds us to take the chayus of all of the Yomim Tovim in Tishrei, and use that chayus all year!


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Ata Horeisa

In the davening of Rosh Hashana, we say many pesukim from the Torah that explain the mitzvah of shofar and the inyan of Rosh Hashana. These are in the sections of Malchiyos, Zichronos, and Shofros in Shmoneh Esrei.

On Simchas Torah, we also say pesukim from the Torah that explain the inyan of the simcha we have on Simchas Torah. These are the pesukim in Ata Horeisa!

The Rebbe once said that these pesukim are not only explaining what Simchas Torah is all about, but they are also a tefillah. One of the most important things these pesukim are asking for is the Geulah!



Simchas Torah

In the beginning of each day’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe tells us the Chitas of the day.

If you look at the beginning of today’s Hayom Yom (written in a year where Simchas Torah was Erev Shabbos Bereishis), you will see that today we learn the day’s shiur of Vezos Habracha, and then on Shabbos Bereishis, we learn the rest of Vezos Habracha and the whole Parshas Bereishis.

But in later years, the Rebbe said that since we start Parshas Bereishis on Simchas Torah, we should catch up to today’s shiur in Parshas Bereishis on Simchas Torah itself!

Why did the Rebbe say something different than the way it is in Hayom Yom?

Really, the mitzvah of today, the mitzvah of Simchas Torah, is to be besimcha! This should take up our whole day, with singing, dancing, and celebrating! Our joy on Simchas Torah is very special and helps us the whole entire year! So we don’t have time to sit down and learn a whole parsha of Chumash with Rashi, instead we push it off until Shabbos Bereishis.

But, the Rebbe said, people seem to find time to do other things. They aren’t dancing and singing the whole day! If you already have time to do other things, the right time to catch up in Chitas to Parshas Bereishis is today!

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



Simchas Torah

On the day of Simchas Torah, after we finish leining the end and beginning of the Torah, we say a piyut (poem) that starts with the words “Sisu Vesimchu Besimchas Torah.”

One of the lines in this piyut is “Ogil Ve’esmach Besimchas Torah, Bo Yavo Tzemach Besimchas Torah.” “I will rejoice and be happy on Simchas Torah, Tzemach will come on Simchas Torah!”

Tzemach is the name of Moshiach, like we see in many places (like the Gemara Yerushalmi and in Nach). We see that Moshiach has a very special connection to Simchas Torah!

R’ Yaakov Emden also writes in his Siddur Yavetz that Moshiach will come in the zechus of the simcha that we have with the Torah!

See sicha Leil Simchas Torah 5752, Sefer Hasichos Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis p. 37 ff.

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לע"נ התינוק זאב ארי' ע"ה בן יבלט"א הרה"ח ר' שניאור זלמן שי' גליק
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