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Parshas Bamidbar - Revi'i with Rashi

Today we learn about Aharon’s family. Really, the Torah says it’s about the families of Moshe and Aharon, but then it only tells us about Aharon’s family! Rashi shows us from the Gemara that it’s because Moshe taught them Torah, so it’s like they are Moshe’s kids too!

Aharon had four sons:
1) Nadav
2) Avihu
3) Elazar
4) Itamar

Nadav and Avihu had no children. They passed away when they brought Ketores in the Mishkan without permission. Elazar and Itamar were Kohanim along with Aharon.

Hashem now tells Moshe that Shevet Levi has a special job, to help the kohanim guard the Mishkan. Aharon and his children are the kohanim.

Hashem says, “Even though I made the bechorim holy, since they were involved in the Cheit Ha’Egel, the Kedusha to work in the Mishkan will go to Shevet Levi, who didn’t do the Egel.”



119 (second half)

Today we are saying the second half of the LONGEST kapitel in the whole Tehillim, Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes!

There is a posuk in today’s Tehillim, “Mikol Melamdai Hiskalti Ki Eidvosecha Sicha Li” — “I have learned from all of my teachers, because Your mitzvos are what I talk about.”

We learned in Pirkei Avos in Perek Daled, “Eizehu Chochom Halomeid Mikol Adam.” “Who is called a chochom? Someone who learns from every person.” The Mishna learns this from this posuk in Tehillim, “Mikol Melamdai Hiskalti.”

When the Rebbe visited Camp Gan Yisroel in Tof-Shin-Chof, it was 200 years since the histalkus of the Baal Shem Tov. The Rebbe taught the campers many things we learn from the Baal Shem Tov, including an explanation on this posuk:

Does it make sense to learn from everyone? Not everyone is a teacher, and not everyone has something good to teach! Some people are NOT such good people and we probably SHOULDN’T learn from them!

The Baal Shem Tov explains that we SHOULD learn from everyone: From some people we should learn how to act and what to do, and from other people we should learn what NOT to do. By learning from everyone, each one of us will be a chochom and bring our teachers and parents a lot of nachas!



Likutei Amarim Perek Nun-Beis

A few days ago, the Alter Rebbe started to explain what it means that the Shechinah can be felt in a Yid or in the Beis Hamikdash. Isn’t Hashem everywhere?

The Alter Rebbe started by giving a mashal of the chayus that the neshama gives to a person: There is a part of the neshama that makes a person alive. This chayus is the same ALL over the body, but we can’t feel it. Then there is a second kind of chayus, that gives the right kinds of kochos to each part of us: Like the eyes get chayus to see, and the feet get chayus to walk. The main part of this chayus is in the mind, and the mind gives the right chayus to each part of the body.

These two kinds of chayus are also the way Hashem gives chayus to the world. The first kind is the chayus that makes the world exist (Sovev Kol Almin) — this chayus is the same everywhere, but we can’t feel it. Then there is a second kind of chayus which gives every specific thing in the world the chayus it needs (Memalei Kol Almin) and is possible to feel in the world. We are talking about this second kind of chayus when we say that Hashem’s Shechinah can be felt in the Beis Hamikdash and in a Yid nowadays when he learns Torah and does mitzvos.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe tells us that the second kind of chayus of Hashem in the world works the same way as the chayus of the neshama in the body. First the chayus goes into the head, and from there it goes to the rest of the body. The same thing is with the chayus of Hashem in the world: First the chayus of Hashem goes in to ChaBaD, the “head” of the world. Only then does every part of the world get the right kinds of chayus: The trees get a chayus to grow, the cows get chayus to give milk, and the rivers get a chayus to flow!

How does the chayus get from ChaBaD to all the parts of the world? The Shechinah has a job to bring Hashem’s chayus to everything.

Later we will see that the Shechinah has a “cover” which makes it possible to shine to the rest of the world. In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, the cover was the Beis Hamikdash, and nowadays it is Torah and mitzvos! That’s why even though Hashem is everywhere, we need Torah and mitzvos for there to be Hashro’as HaShechinah (that the Shechinah can rest) in a way that we can feel.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe also tells us that Kabbalah calls the Shechinah many names. Here are some of them:
- Alma De’isgalya (the world we can see — since we can see this chayus better)
- Matronisa (the queen)
- Ima Tata’ah (the Mommy)
- Eim Habanim (the mother of children)
- Kneses Yisroel (where all of the Neshamos are gathered — since the Neshamos come from here too)

In the first maamar when the Rebbe became Rebbe (Bosi L’Gani), the Rebbe explained about the Shechinah and said that there are many different levels. The main point of Shechinah is to connect and show Hashem in the world, and the Shechinah has a bunch of steps in making this happen.



Chof-Vov Iyar

Today is forty-one days of the Omer!

There is a mitzvah called Hochacha, telling someone they did something wrong. (This mitzvah has a lot of details to make sure that we don’t hurt someone while this mitzvah is being done. The halachos are written in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Kuf-Nun-Vov.)

Before the Torah tells us this mitzvah, the Torah first tells us “Lo Sisna Es Achicha Bilvavecha,” that we are not allowed to hate another Yid in our heart.

This is a condition to make sure we are doing this mitzvah properly. We don’t do Hochacha because we hate someone, but only because we love them and we want them to do what is right so they will be able to get the brachos of Hashem.

After telling us to do the mitzvah of Hochacha, the posuk then says, “Velo Sisa Alav Cheit,” “and you should not blame him.” Instead of blaming him, you should blame yourself!

This is because if a person truly means what he says from his whole heart, the other person will feel it too, and it will make him want to change — “Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev Nichnasim El Halev.” If he didn’t want to change, it is a sign that you did not have Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev, that you did not mean it with your whole heart.

We see from there that the proper way to do hochacha is to first make sure that it is being done with a feeling of love, and after the hochacha to check and to make sure that it was Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev.



Shiur #289 - Mitzvas Asei #200, Lo Saasei #238

Today we learn two mitzvos about paying workers:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #200) We need to pay our workers on time!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: בְּיוֹמוֹ תִתֵּן שְׂכָרוֹ

The details are explained in Perek Tes in Mesechta Bava Metziah, which explains that it is for every kind of worker, whether the worker is a goy or a Yid.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #238) We aren’t allowed to push off paying our workers.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: לֹא תָלִין פְּעֻלַּת שָׂכִיר אִתְּךָ עַד בֹּקֶר

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Perek Tes of Mesechta Bava Metziah.



Hilchos Sechirus

In today’s Rambam, we continue to learn halachos of renting.

Perek Daled: If you rent something from someone, what are you usually allowed to use it for? Like if you rent a table, can you use it for cutting vegetables on? If you rent a car, can you use it to shlep heavy suitcases? If you rent something and use it for something it is not normally used for, you will have to pay if it breaks!

In Perek Hey, we learn that the words you use when renting can make a big difference! If someone says, “I will rent you a car,” then if the car breaks down, they need to get you another one to use. But if they say, “I am renting you THIS car,” then they don’t need to find you a new car if it breaks.

Perek Vov has many halachos about what is counted as part of a rental. If you rent a house, the owner has to make sure it is a safe place to live. He has to fix the locks, make sure the roof is strong, and repair anything important that is broken.

We also learn how long you get to keep things you rented, if you didn’t say it clearly before. For example, if you rent a house for Shabbos, that means you can stay for at least two days!



Hilchos Eidus - Perek Hey

In Perek Hey the Rambam tells us a few more details about today’s mitzvah: If the witness starts to explain why he thinks the person is wrong or right, the Beis Din makes him be quiet! We also learn halachos about tomorrow’s mitzvah in Sefer Hamitzvos, not to listen to one witness in court.




In today’s Hayom Yom we learned that in order to be successful in getting another Yid to change, there needs to be Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev. We will review a few points the Rebbe teaches about how important it is to have Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev:

In one sicha the Rebbe reminded us that even when we are saying words that are from seforim, we STILL need to make sure that we mean what we say and that the words come from our heart.

In another sicha, the Rebbe told us that if we see that what we say is not making a difference to another person, we need to think about who we are and why what we’re saying is not making a difference. We need to keep trying until the Shlichus is successful.

The Torah gives us a promise that “Devarim Hayotzim Min Halev Nichnasim El Halev, Upoalim Peulasam.” Words that come from the heart enter the other person’s heart, and accomplish what they need to.

See Mafteiach L’Sichos Kodesh


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Yihiyu Leratzon

We started Shemoneh Esrei with a posuk, “Hashem Sefasai Tiftach,” that Hashem should open our lips and our mouths should say Hashem’s praise.

The Gemara tells us that we also finish off Shemoneh Esrei with a posuk. After we finish the last bracha, we say “Yihiyu Leratzon,” asking Hashem that our tefillos should be accepted.

Yihiyu Leratzon Imrei Fi — the words I said, whether or not I had kavana, should be pleasant for Hashem
Vehegyon Libi Lefanecha — as well as the thoughts I had during davening.
Hashem Tzuri Vego’ali — Hashem is my strength and the One Who brings me Geulah.

In so many parts of davening we finish off by talking about Geulah, so we finish off with Geulah here too!

After this we will add another tefillah which comes from the Gemara, and then again finish off with this posuk. We will IY”H learn more about it tomorrow.



Thunder & Lightning

According to halacha, a bracha needs to be said at the same time as we experience the thing we are making the bracha on.

So in order to make the bracha on thunder and lightning, we need to start the bracha within 3 or 4 seconds after hearing the thunder or seeing the lightning. This amount of time in halacha is called “Toch Kedei Dibur.”

If we were in a place where we couldn’t make the bracha when we heard the thunder or saw the lightning, we only make the bracha if we were able to start it “Toch Kedei Dibur,” within 3 or 4 seconds. If we missed it, we should wait for the next time we hear thunder and see lightning. If we’re afraid we might not hear it again, we should say the bracha without Hashem’s name, even if it is not Toch Kedei Dibur.

See Seder Birchos Hanehenin, chapter 13 halacha 17

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



Hinei Elokeinu Zeh!

The Navi Yeshaya tells us that when Moshiach comes, we will see that we were right to trust in Hashem that He will take us out of Golus! Then we will celebrate and thank Hashem for bringing us the Geulah.

This posuk is in Veyitein Lecha, which we say on Motzei Shabbos. It is also one of the pesukim we say in Ato Horeisa before Hakafos on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah!

וְאָמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא הִנֵּה אֱלֹקֵינוּ זֶה קִוִּינוּ לוֹ וְיוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ זֶה ה׳ קִוִּינוּ לוֹ נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ

Ve’amar Bayom Hahu — And Yidden will say on that day,

Hinei Elokeinu Zeh — “This is our Aibershter!

Kivinu Lo Veyoshieinu — We trusted in Him that He would save us.

Zeh Hashem Kivinu Lo — This is Hashem, Who we trusted in,

Nagila Venismecha Biyeshuaso — Let us celebrate and be happy with His Geulah!”

See Yeshaya perek Chof-Hey, posuk Tes

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