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CHUMASH

Parshas Vayeira - Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn the story of the Akeidah, and how Avraham Avinu finds out about a shidduch for Yitzchak.

The Akeida: The Satan tried to get Hashem angry at Avraham since he hadn’t given a Korban from the time he moved to Chevron. Hashem said that it wasn’t true — everything Avraham did was for Hashem, and he would even give up his son for Hashem!

Yishmael had done some teshuvah and moved back to Chevron to be closer to Avraham. But he thought HE deserved to be Hashem’s shliach after Avraham passed away. He boasted that he had a bris even though it hurt. Yitzchak answered that he would even give up his whole body to Hashem!

After hearing what the Satan and Yitzchak said, Hashem gave Avraham this exact test.

He told Avraham to take Yitzchak to Har Hamoriah, where the Beis Hamikdash would be built. He should prepare him to be a korban for Hashem.

Avraham woke up early in the morning. He woke up early, and saddled his own donkey to carry the wood and tools instead of asking a servant to help. He chopped the wood himself, and took along Eliezer (his servant), Yishmael, and Yitzchak.

Even though it usually took one day to travel to Har Hamoriah, Avraham only reached Har Hamoriah on the third day. He saw a cloud over the mountain and realized that this was the mountain Hashem wanted him to go to.

Avraham told Eliezer and Yishmael to stay with the donkey, and he and Yitzchak would go daven and come back to them. (He didn’t even realize but he said a nevuah, that Yitzchak would come back too!)

Avraham had Yitzchak carry the wood, while he carried the fire and the knife. Both of them were ready to do whatever Hashem wanted, even though Yitzchak didn’t know yet that he was going to become a korban.

Yitzchak then asked Avraham where the animal for the Korban was. Avraham told him that if Hashem doesn’t send something else, Yitzchak would be the korban. Yitzchak was still happy to walk with his father to do what Hashem wanted.

When they came to the right place, Avraham built a mizbeiach and arranged the wood on it. He tied up Yitzchak and put him onto the mizbeiach. Avraham took the knife, ready to shecht his son. The malachim all cried when they saw, and some tears fell into Yitzchak’s eyes (later making him not able to see very well).

A malach called out and said “Avraham! Avraham! Do not shecht your son!” Avraham thought he should still give Yitzchak a small cut, but the malach said “No, do nothing!” Avraham was sad, because he thought this meant that he failed Hashem’s test.

Hashem said, “I didn’t WANT you to bring Yitzchak as a korban at all, it was just a test — and you were ready to do it, you passed the test!”

But Avraham didn’t just want to pass the test, he wanted Hashem to promise him brachos. He knew that for that, he had to give a Korban. So he looked around and saw a ram running to him! Hashem set aside this ram since creating the world, just for this reason! But the Satan was upset that Avraham had passed the test, so he made the ram’s horns get stuck in a bush. Avraham helped the ram free and brought it as a korban. Since he brought the ram as a korban as if it was Yitzchok, Yitzchok also became holy like a korban.

Avraham called this place “Hashem Yireh,” which means that Hashem sees. Avraham davened to Hashem, asking that Hashem should see this place as the one where the Shechinah will rest, and korbanos will be brought in the future.

After the korban, the malach called out again: “Since you were ready to give your only son as a korban, your children will become as many as the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea, and take over Eretz Yisroel!”

~

Avraham went back to live in Be’er Sheva. He realized that now was a good time for Yitzchak to get married. He was going to see if Aner, Eshkol or Mamrei had any daughters that would be good for Yitzchak. Hashem told Avraham that his nephew Besuel had a baby Rivka who deserved to be a wife for Yitzchak, so he stopped looking.

 
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TEHILLIM

97 - 103

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Tzadik-Zayin to Kuf-Gimmel.

In today’s Tehillim there is a posukMoshe VeAharon BeChohanov, U’Shmuel BeKorei Shemo.”

The Gemara explains that Shmuel Hanavi in his generation was as great as Moshe and Aharon in their generation!

The Rebbe teaches us that when the Yidden went out of Mitzrayim, Hashem gave them TWO leaders: Moshe, who taught them the Torah that is the same for everyone, and Aharon, who helped each person do their best to connect to Torah on their own level.

Shmuel Hanavi was able to do BOTH jobs together — to teach Yidden the truth, AND to help everyone according to their own level.

The Rebbe tells us that the Chabad Rebbes were each like Shmuel, who have both kochos together — they teach us Torah and how we need to serve Hashem, and help each one of us come closer to doing our own special shlichus.

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Tes

In order for the neshama to feel the pleasure of Elokus in Gan Eden, it needs to prepare in this world. We do that by doing what Hashem wants — the mitzvos.

The Chachomim say that a person who learns halachos of the Torah in this world is promised Olam Haba. That’s because the halachos explain the mitzvos of the Torah, which get the Neshama ready so it can feel Hashem in Olam Haba.

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe starts to explain why the mitzvos and halachos of the Torah are the “clothes” to make it possible for the neshama to be able to enjoy Elokus in Gan Eden.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Chof Mar-Cheshvan

Today is the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab. He was born in the year 5621. (The Tzemach Tzedek called this year “Kitra,” the letters of Tof-Reish-Chof-Alef, which means “crown!”)

The name the Rebbe Rashab was given was for two people: Part of his name was from the Mitteler Rebbe, Dovber, and the other part was from the first half of the Tzemach Tzedek’s father’s name (Sholom Shachna). Together his full name became Sholom Dovber.

The Rebbe Rashab said a maamar every year on his Yom Huledes (not in public unless it fell out on Shabbos). The last year before he passed away he again said a maamar on his new kapitel, Kapitel Samach, on the words “Nosata Lereiacha Neis Lehisnoseis.” Then he told the Frierdiker Rebbe to do the same on his Yom Huledes.

He also hinted to him that he would have something special happen on his birthday. He said, “Hashem should give you a present that you should say Chassidus on your Yom Huledes, but it should be with chesed and rachamim, with Hashem’s kindness and mercy. This was a hint that something would happen in the future on his Yom Huledes, which would be a hard thing, but would end well and he would say Chassidus.

The Frierdiker Rebbe said about this that it took seven years to happen. When was this? When the Frierdiker Rebbe was released from prison on his Yom Huledes, in the year Tof-Reish-Pey-Zayin. He said Chassidus on that day, as his father had told him he would, and it became a big Yom Tov, the Chag Hageulah of Yud-Beis Tammuz.

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #121 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #217, #218

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn two mitzvos about not mixing ANIMALS together:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #217) We aren’t allowed to make two different kinds of animals get married to each other, like a cow with a sheep.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: בְּהֶמְתְּךָ לֹא תַרְבִּיעַ כִּלְאַיִם

The details are explained in Mesechta Kilayim perek Ches

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #218) We are not allowed to make two different kinds of animals shlep a plow or a wagon together.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא תַחֲרשׁ בְּשׁוֹר וּבַחֲמֹר יַחְדָּו

The details are explained in Mesechta Kilayim perek Ches

We learn the halachos of these two mitzvos in tomorrow’s Rambam.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Kela'im

In Rambam, we finish learning about Kilai HaKerem, not growing any other kind of plant together with grapes.

Perek Vov: We learn how much of the grapes become asur if they are planted close to vegetables. We also learn about mavrich, when a person makes the grapevine go underground and come up in a different place. Can we plant something else in that in-between space?

Perek Zayin: We learn what is considered a Kerem (vineyard) according to halacha, and what is considered just a single vine, which is less strict than a full Kerem.

Perek Ches: There are two ways to grow grapes: Letting the vines grow on the ground, or draping the vines over a wall, a fence, or an arch. Letting them grow on the ground is the regular way we grow grapes. When the vines are hanging over something else, called Aris, there are different halachos.

We also learn that the halachos are a little different outside of Eretz Yisroel.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Shabbos - Perek Yud-Gimmel

This perek of Rambam teaches us when a person is chayav for carrying on Shabbos.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Chassidishe Yom Tov

Today is a special Chassidishe Yom Tov. It is the Yom Huledes (birthday) of the Rebbe Rashab!

One of the most important things that the Rebbe Rashab did, which the Rebbe would farbreng about, was that he started Tomchei Temimim — the Lubavitch Yeshiva. Tomchei Temimim taught bochurim to learn Niglah and Chassidus, to daven b’avodah, and to become Chassidim that were ready to have Mesiras Nefesh to spread Yiddishkeit! The Chassidim who were ready to do anything for Yiddishkeit in Russia, and the Shluchim and Chassidim who have the Mesiras Nefesh we need to have today, are all because of what was started with the yeshiva of Tomchei Temimim!

On Chof Cheshvan, the Rebbe asked that Chassidim should try to go to a Yeshiva for at least a few minutes to daven, give tzedakah, learn something or have a farbrengen. (If you can’t go to a Yeshiva, going to a Chabad House can accomplish the same thing!)

See farbrengen Parshas Vayeira Tof-Shin-Mem-Tes, Hamaaseh Hu Ha’Ikar Chof Cheshvan

 

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TEFILLAH

Learning Pirush Hamilos

R’ Shmuel Ber Borisover was a chossid of the Tzemach Tzedek, and later of the Rebbe Maharash. Once, at the end of a long discussion with the Rebbe Maharash, R’ Shmuel Ber asked, “Un vos is fort a chossid?” “So what actually is a chossid?”

The Rebbe Maharash said, “Go to my son.”

This seemed surprising! R’ Shmuel Ber was already one of the older Chassidim, and the Rebbe Maharash was sending him to his son (the Rebbe Rashab), who was very young at that time!

The Rebbe Maharash explained to him what he meant.

The Rebbe Maharash said, “I wake up very early every day (between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning). Once I woke up extra early, and I sent my meshores (assistant) to go to my son and see what he was doing.

“The meshores said that he saw my son sitting in front of a siddur, but the meshores wasn’t sure what he was doing.

“I sent a different shliach to see what he was doing. The shliach came back and told me that my son was sitting with an open siddur, together with an Avudraham (a sefer that explains the structure of davening) and a Nach with meforshim (which explain the meaning of the pesukim in davening).

“He was sitting and learning the simple meaning of the davening!”

The Rebbe Maharash said to R’ Shmuel Ber Borisover, “This is a Chossid!”

Even though there are many Ruchnius’dike things to be learning and thinking about, a Chossid doesn’t forget how important it is to understand the simple meaning of the davening.

See Sefer Hasichos of the Frierdiker Rebbe, Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Tes, p. 305

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Kibud Av Va'em

When my parents are asleep,
I won’t play a noisy game.
I will not scream or shout —
That’s part of Kibud Av Va’eim!

Part of the mitzvah of Kibud Av Va’eim is not to wake up our parents when they are sleeping. We can’t wake them up even when we will miss out on something by letting them sleep!

BUT, if our PARENT will miss out on something by sleeping, we ARE allowed to wake them up! Since we know it will make them happy to be woken up, we can do it.

We are also allowed to wake up our parents so they don’t miss doing a mitzvah — because that shows kavod for Hashem!

Shmiras Mitzvas Hayom p. 270

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

Being Excited About Moshiach

Many years ago, the Rebbe Rashab started the Yeshivah of Tomchei Temimim. The Rebbe Rashab farbrenged with the bochurim, explaining what their avodah was as Temimim. Three years after Tomchei Temimim was started, the Rebbe Rashab said a very famous sicha that starts with the words Kol Hayotzei Lemilchemes Beis Dovid.

In this sicha, he told the Temimim that there are two types of people that the Temimim need to overcome, because they are dangerous for the Yidden:

1) Those that don’t want other people to believe in Hashem or keep Torah and mitzvos. They make fun of them, and say that Yidden don’t need it chas veshalom.

2) Yidden who DO keep Torah and mitzvos, but say that you don’t need to talk about Moshiach or get excited that Moshiach is coming.

The Yeshiva bochurim have to fight a war with these two kinds of people. And how do they fight it? Not with mussar or arguments, but with teaching Chassidus and strengthening the emunah that Moshiach is about to come!

Many years later, in a farbrengen with Chassidim, the Rebbe said that this sicha that the Rebbe Rashab said is now important for every Yid! We need to know that whenever we meet another Yid, we might think that it was for one reason or another. But the real reason is so we can share a few words of Chassidus and share the excitement that Moshiach is coming very soon!

See sicha of Chof Cheshvan, Tof-Shin-Mem-Hey (video excerpt)

 
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