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Parshas Devarim - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the Yidden about more of the things they did wrong during their years in the Midbar. He reminds them about the story with the Meraglim.

The Meraglim: When the Yidden first had the idea to send Meraglim to go look at Eretz Yisroel, to see if it was as special as Moshe Rabbeinu kept telling them, Moshe was happy to say yes. He hoped that when the Yidden saw how he was excited to let them see Eretz Yisroel, they would understand that it is VERY good!

But it didn’t help — they didn’t believe that Moshe was telling the truth about how wonderful Eretz Yisroel is. They wanted the spies to go make sure before they went. So the Meraglim went — but they were just looking for things to complain about. They tried to convince the Yidden that it would be too hard to go into Eretz Yisroel! Yehoshua and Kalev told the Yidden not to worry, that Eretz Yisroel is good, but they decided to believe the Meraglim anyway. They thought that Eretz Yisroel couldn’t be so amazing, Mitzrayim was better! They cried that Hashem hated them and was trying to take them to a bad place where their children would be killed fighting!

Moshe told the Yidden to trust in Hashem — but they still didn’t want to go. Hashem was upset, and NONE of those Yidden, only their children, would be allowed to go into Eretz Yisroel!



140 - 150

Today is Erev Rosh Chodesh! Since this month has only 29 days, we also say the Tehillim for Yom Lamed, and we finish the whole Sefer Tehillim!

The Rebbe once spoke at a farbrengen about the small paragraph before almost every kapitel in Tehillim which tells us what the kapitel is about. The Rebbe said that even though we don’t know who wrote these paragraphs and if he is reliable, still almost all of them seem to properly show the inyan of that kapitel.

In the paragraph before Kapitel Kuf-Mem-Alef, it says that this Kapitel teaches us that a Yid should daven to Hashem to help him not say things that he doesn’t really feel.

One of the pesukim says “Shisa Hashem Shamra Lefi” — “Hashem should put a guard in front of my mouth” — to only say what I really mean.

When we talk to other people, it is easy to say things that will make us look better, even if they aren’t what we really feel. This kapitel asks Hashem to help us to be able to be true friends with other people.

If we are nice to someone else, we need to act like their friend, even when they are not looking.

See Divrei Kibushin 17 Tammuz 5745



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Yud-Alef

We learned that a Yid is able to feel serious and happy at the same time, because they are for different reasons. The seriousness comes from having rachmanus for his neshama and feeling bad for his aveiros, since they make Yidden and Hashem be in Golus. The happiness comes from davening and learning and doing mitzvos with a new chayus after doing teshuvah!

Then we learned that even thinking about the aveiros can also bring a simcha! When we have emunah and bitachon that Hashem forgives us, that makes us happy!

Today the Alter Rebbe tells us more about how we are so sure that Hashem forgives us:

We say every day in davening, “Boruch Ata Hashem, Chanun HaMarbeh Lisloach” — Hashem forgives Yidden. We also say this when we ask Hashem to forgive us on Yom Kippur. It MUST be that Hashem forgives us, otherwise how could we say Hashem’s name? It would be a bracha levatala!

If we asked a person to forgive us for hurting him, he might agree. But if we kept on hurting him again and again, he would run out of patience and not want to forgive us anymore!

But Hashem’s midos don’t run out! We ask Hashem three times a day to forgive us, even though we keep making the same mistakes. And every year on Yom Kippur we ask Hashem to be mochel us for the same things. We know that Hashem WILL forgive us!

[If a Yid chas veshalom does an aveira and thinks “It’s OK to do this aveira — I’ll just do Teshuva later,” (Echteh Ve’Ashuv), Hashem won’t help him to do teshuvah. But when we daven, before we ask Hashem to forgive us, we ask for help to do a proper teshuvah. On Yom Kippur also, we first ask Hashem to help us not do aveiros again. This shows that our teshuvah is real, we aren’t just relying on Hashem’s forgiveness. And even if someone is, and Hashem won’t help him do teshuvah, if he tries very hard, he still can do teshuvah — and Hashem will forgive him!]

When we KNOW that Hashem will forgive us, we can be besimcha even about the past!



Chof-Tes Tammuz

A note written by the Tzemach Tzedek was found. On the paper, it said about a hachlata that he made — to learn for 6 hours at night, standing up! Then it said that Boruch Hashem he was able to keep his hachlata, and he finished learning ALL of the Gemaras, and Shulchan Aruch, with the meforshim that explain them!



Shiur #12 - Mitzvas Asei #209

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #209) in Sefer Hamitzvos is to have kavod for a Talmid Chochom, especially someone who taught us Torah. One way we show this kavod is by standing up for them.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: מִפְּנֵי שֵׂיבָה תָּקוּם וְהָדַרְתָּ פְּנֵי זָקֵן

The details are explained in Mesechta Kiddushin perek Alef.



Hilchos Talmud Torah

Perek Hey: In today’s Rambam, we learn that we need to have special kavod for our teachers since they teach us Torah!

In Perek Vov, we learn that we need to show kavod to every Talmid Chochom, because of the Torah they learned! The Rambam teaches us that we also need to show kavod to ANYONE who is very old — even if they aren’t Jewish.

It is so important to show kavod for a Talmid Chochom, that if someone doesn’t, they are separated from the rest of the Yidden by being put into cherem until they do teshuvah. The Rambam also tells us the other 23 things that might make someone deserve to be put into cherem.

Perek Zayin teaches us that cherem is a very serious thing. Someone who is in cherem isn’t counted as part of a minyan! The Rambam teaches us that a Beis Din shouldn’t want to put someone into cherem, because it is such a serious thing.



Minyan Hamitzvos

In today’s Rambam, the Rambam is telling us the list of mitzvos again, and where we’ll learn them in the 14 books of the Rambam. These 14 seforim include 83 sections that teach us different sets of halachos.

Today we learn the last five seforim:

10) Tahara — “purity.” In this sefer, the Rambam will teach us all of the mitzvos that have to do with tumah and tahara.

11) Nezikin — “damages.” In this sefer we have all of the mitzvos about if one person hurts another person or ruins his things.

12) Kinyan — “acquiring.” In this sefer we learn how property can belong to a person, like if he buys it. It also has the halachos about neighbors and partners.

13) Mishpatim — “judgments.” This sefer has the mitzvos about when two people argue about something in Beis Din, like halachos about a person who watches something for his friend, or lends him money.

14) Shoftim — “judges.” In this sefer we learn the mitzvos for a Sanhedrin, like when a person is punished for doing an aveira. We also learn about a king, and the wars he fights — ending off with the halachos about Moshiach!



Hilchos Beis Habechirah

We are now in the middle of Bein Hameitzarim, the Three Weeks where we think about the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash and the many sad things that happened to Yidden through the years. Starting tonight, on Rosh Chodesh, we will also be in the time of the Nine Days, when the Chachomim taught us to follow some of the minhagim of aveilus (mourning) for the Churban of the Beis Hamikdash.

It is important to review these halachos today, because to keep them, we need to prepare before Rosh Chodesh. For example, we aren’t allowed to do laundry or wear fresh clothes during the Nine Days, and we need to make sure to have enough clothing ready.

The Three Weeks and the Nine Days are not times of simcha for Yidden. But still, that doesn’t mean that we should be very sad and feel like we should give up! Even though the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, we still have the Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash, that Hashem rests among the Yidden.

During the Three Weeks and the Nine Days, we work hard to make our Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash strong, and to help build the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash faster!

When we learn Torah and do mitzvos, we are making sure that Hashem will rest with us, “Veshachanti Besocham,” in our Ruchnius Beis Hamikdash.

And when we share Torah and Chassidus with others, we are speeding up the Geulah, when we will have the Gashmius Beis Hamikdash again, and these days will change from sad days into days of simcha!

One of the horaos the Rebbe gave us for these days is to learn the halachos of the Beis Hamikdash. Until Moshiach comes, this is the best way we are able to do the mitzvah of building the Beis Hamikdash!

Here is something we learn about the Beis Hamikdash:

The kohanim slept in the Beis Hamikdash, in a room called the Beis Hamokeid. Before they started their Avodah, they washed their hands and feet from the Kiyor!

The Kiyor was set up between the Mizbeiach and the Heichal. It was very big, so that all of the kohanim could use it in the morning. In the time of the second Beis Hamikdash, they added many extra spouts! This way all 12 kohanim who helped with the Korban Tomid could wash their hands and feet at the same time.

Usually, water that sits in a holy keili in the Beis Hamikdash overnight becomes posul. So the leftover water in the Kiyor would become posul every night!

A kohen named Ben Katin came up with a way to keep the water from becoming posul, and to refill the Kiyor at the same time! He set up a pulley system to lower the Kiyor every night into a Mikvah that was under the Beis Hamikdash. Since the water of the Kiyor was touching the Mikvah water, it didn’t become posul at all. (Adding the extra spouts was also Ben Katin’s idea.)

See Igros Kodesh chelek Tes-Vov p. 300, Likutei Sichos chelek Yud-Ches – Masei/Bein Hameitzarim, Hilchos Beis Habechirah


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Hamaavir Sheina - Vihi Ratzon

We just said the bracha of Hamaavir Sheinah, that Hashem removed the sleep from our eyes so that we are refreshed and ready for another day.

But a day can be ANY kind of day. Some people spend their day kvetching, or looking only for fun and games, or looking for trouble. Hashem didn’t take away our sleepiness for us to do that!

In the next paragraph, that starts with the words Vihi Ratzon, we ask Hashem that today be the RIGHT kind of day! We ask Hashem that our day should be the kind that brings nachas to Hashem and makes other people happy. It should be full of Torah and mitzvos, and we shouldn’t get distracted today by the tricks of the Yetzer Hara. Then we finish the bracha the way we started, by thanking Hashem for His kindness in taking away our sleepiness and giving us kochos for a GREAT day! We say, “Hagomel Chasadim Tovim Le’amo Yisrael,” that Hashem does goodness and kindness to His nation, the Yidden.

In the next paragraph, Yehi Ratzon, we also ask Hashem that our day should be protected from troubles and hardships which can keep us from acting the way a Yid should.

The words of these paragraphs come from private tefillos that Chachomim of the Gemara used to say at the end of Shemoneh Esrei.



No Words of Torah Until Birchos HaTorah

The Nine Days start tomorrow, on Rosh Chodesh. There are many halachos that it is important to know. Here is a link to a halacha newsletter with many of these halachos.


We are not allowed to say any words of Torah before we say the Birchos HaTorah that are in Birchos Hashachar. We don’t say pesukim from Torah Shebichsav, and we are also not allowed to learn from Torah Shebaal Peh, or speak about ideas from Torah. (Before saying Birchos HaTorah, we are only allowed to THINK words of Torah.)

Even though some parts of Birchos Hashachar come from the Gemara, we are allowed to say them before the Birchos HaTorah. That is because we are saying them as a tefillah, and not as words of Torah.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman 47

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



The Yidden Will Join Together Again!

After the time of the Shoftim who led the Yidden, they were given the first Yiddishe king, Shaul Hamelech. After him came Dovid Hamelech, and finally Shlomo Hamelech. During the time of Shlomo Hamelech, the first Beis Hamikdash was built!

But something very sad happened after that. Rechavam, Shlomo’s son, was the next king — but not all the Yidden accepted him as king. The Yidden split into two groups:

1) The shevatim of Yehudah and Binyamin followed Rechavam, from Shevet Yehudah, who ruled in Yerushalayim. (Shevet Levi, who worked in the Beis Hamikdash, also followed Rechavam.) This was the group of the Malchei Yehudah.

2) The other ten Shevatim followed Yeravam ben Nevat, from Shevet Efrayim. This was the group of the Malchei Yisrael. The kings of Malchei Yisrael didn’t even let the Yidden who lived there go to the Beis Hamikdash, because they were afraid they would join the Malchei Yehudah.

Unfortunately, the Yidden never joined together again. Over 100 years before the Churban of the first Beis Hamikdash, in the times of the Navi Yeshaya, the ten Shevatim of Malchei Yisrael were taken into Golus by Shalmeneser the king of Ashur. Most of these Shevatim were lost, and we will only find them when Moshiach comes.

Hashem wanted all of the Yidden to know that when Moshiach comes, the ten lost Shevatim will come back, and all of the Yidden will be united again, under one Yiddishe king!

Hashem told the Navi Yechezkel to make a sign to show the Yidden that this would happen:

First, Yechezkel should take two sticks. On one stick he should write “For Yehudah and the Yidden who are with him,” and on the other stick he should write, “For Yosef, Shevet Efrayim, and the Yidden who are with him.”

In front of the Yidden, Yechezkel should hold these two sticks close to each other, and Hashem will make a neis! Both sticks will join together and become one stick.

When the Yidden ask about this neis, the Navi should explain to them that these two sticks are a sign. Hashem promises to take the Yidden who followed a king from Shevet Efrayim (Malchei Yisrael), and have them join together again with the Yidden who followed a king from Shevet Yehudah (Malchei Yehudah). When Moshiach comes, all of the Yidden will again join together as one nation!

Hashem promises:

וְעָשִׂיתִי אֹתָם לְגוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ בְּהָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֶלֶךְ אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם לְמֶלֶךְ וְלֹא יִהְיוּ עוֹד לִשְׁנֵי גוֹיִם וְלֹא יֵחָצוּ עוֹד לִשְׁתֵּי מַמְלָכוֹת עוֹד

Ve’asisi Osam Legoy Echad Ba’aretz — I will make them into one nation in the land

BeHarei Yisrael — In the mountains of Eretz Yisrael.

Umelech Echad Yihiyeh Lechulam — There will be one king for all of them

Velo Yihiyu Od Lishnei Goyim — And they won’t be two separate nations anymore

Velo Yeichatzu Od LiShtei Mamlachos Od — And they won’t be split into two kingdoms anymore.

See Yechezkel perek Lamed-Zayin, posuk Chof-Beis

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