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Parshas Vaeira - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash we learn how Hashem tells Moshe and Aharon how they should talk to Paraoh, and that Paraoh won’t listen and will get the Makos because of this. Then the Mitzriyim will come to recognize Hashem.

Moshe was afraid that Paraoh wouldn’t listen to him — after all, the Yidden didn’t listen!

Hashem gave Moshe instructions of what to do. He should tell Paraoh what Hashem said, in a strong way. He should make sure to say it in Lashon Kodesh too, even though Paraoh doesn’t understand that language. This will help him have strength over Paraoh! Then Aharon will translate and explain what Moshe says so that Paraoh will understand it well. In the end, Paraoh will send the Yidden out of his land.

Still, at first Paraoh won’t listen.

If Paraoh agrees right away to set the Yidden free, he will change his mind quickly. Hashem will harden Paraoh’s heart, so that he will see all of the Makos and the nisim of Hashem. Then, he will really let the Yidden go.

These nisim will also bring the Yidden to have more Yiras Shomayim.

Moshe and Aharon did exactly what Hashem told them to, like we’ll see tomorrow!

At this time, Moshe was 80 and Aharon was 83.



135 - 139

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Kuf-Lamed-Hey to Kuf-Lamed-Tes.

In Kapitel Kuf-Lamed-Ches, Dovid Hamelech praises Hashem for His kindness!

Hashem promised Dovid that he would become King of the Yidden. Hashem’s promise came true, and Dovid became Dovid Hamelech. In this kapitel Dovid Hamelech shows his Hakoras Hatov and thanks to Hashem for this chesed that Hashem did for him!



Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Zayin

Yesterday, we learned that the avodah of a beinoni is to think about Hashem in order to make a hachlata in his heart that he will behave the way Hashem wants. That’s what the posuk means, “Ki Karov Eilecha Hadavar Me’od” — it’s possible for every Yid to serve Hashem and keep Torah and mitzvos with a feeling in the heart!

But, the Alter Rebbe says, a Rasha who did a lot of aveiros and let his Yetzer Hara be in control of him too much, can get a punishment — that he won’t be able to act like a beinoni! His mind won’t be able to have enough koach to get him to want to serve Hashem! He won’t be able to use the natural koach of Moach Shalit Al Halev to be in control of his behavior.

But that doesn’t mean that he will never be able to serve Hashem, chas veshalom! It just means that right now, he can’t serve Hashem so well. But when he does Teshuvah, and feels bad about what he did, and decides to act differently, Hashem will give him back this important koach!

In today’s Chumash, we see an example of this from Paraoh!

Paraoh had a lot of chutzpah to Hashem! He was supposed to let the Yidden out of Mitzrayim, but he kept on saying no.

Because of this chutzpah, Hashem didn’t make it easier for him to do the right thing. But in the end, Paraoh got Makos, which broke his chutzpah, and that helped him do Teshuvah. Not only did he send the Yidden out, but he was even able to teach about Hashem, when he later became a king in Ninveh.



Chof-Ches Teves

The Tzemach Tzedek was called by the government to Petersburg (the capital of Russia) for a kinus of Rabbonim, to try to get them to make changes in Yiddishkeit chas veshalom.

The people in the government obviously didn’t believe in Hashem, so the Tzemach Tzedek had to explain things to them in a way that makes sense even without having emunah. The Tzemach Tzedek showed them, using proofs that even they could understand, that Hashem and the Torah are true.

The Tzemach Tzedek wrote a sefer explaining all of these things, called Sefer Hachakirah. In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe tells us that the sefer is not complete — there are some notes missing.

Of course, Yidden believe in Hashem even without all of these explanations! Emunah is built into every Yid.

Here is a story from the Rebbe about this: Once a group of professors came to speak to the Rebbe. Each of them had a turn to ask different questions. Each of the professors came out amazed that the Rebbe understood everything so well! But one professor had questions about emunah, and the nissim we learn about in the Torah. When he came out, he said that the Rebbe was talking about emunah with the simplicity of a child!

That’s how a Yid is supposed to have emunah — like a child, who doesn’t need complicated reasons why to believe in Hashem. We learn about the Achdus of Hashem in Chassidus so that our emunah will also be part of the way we think.


We see an obvious connection between today’s Hayom Yom and the Chumash we are learning now!

In Chumash, we are learning about how Moshe Rabbeinu — the first Rebbe of the Yidden — was given kochos from Hashem to go speak before the goyishe ruler of his time. He would show Paraoh that Hashem exists, and that Paraoh needs to do what Hashem wants, which would get the world ready for the Geulah from Mitzrayim.

In this Hayom Yom, we see that the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe of his time, also went with special kochos before the goyishe rulers to show them that Hashem exists and influence them to do what Hashem wants.

In our time, the Rebbe gave all of us special kochos to go to our goyishe neighbors and people we do business with, and talk to them about Hashem and about the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach. It is part of our shlichus to tell them and teach them about the mitzvos they are supposed to keep, which will make the entire world ready for the final and complete Geulah!



Shiur #187 - Mitzvas Asei #70

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #70) is to bring a korban called an Asham Talui if a person isn’t sure if he did an aveira that would need him to bring a Korban Chatas.

This sofek (doubt) is called in the words of the Chachomim, “Lo Hoda,” not known.

We learn this mitzvah from two pesukim in Parshas Vayikra:

וְאִם נֶפֶשׁ כִּי תֶחֱטָא וְעָשְׂתָה אַחַת מִכָּל מִצְוֹת ה׳ אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵעָשֶׂינָה וְלֹא יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם וְנָשָׂא עֲו‍ֹנוֹ: וְהֵבִיא אַיִל תָּמִים מִן הַצֹּאן בְּעֶרְכְּךָ לְאָשָׁם אֶל הַכֹּהֵן וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו הַכֹּהֵן עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר שָׁגָג וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע

The details are explained in Mesechta Kerisus.



Hilchos Shegagos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about the korbanos a person brings if he did an aveira by mistake.

Perek Gimmel: In this perek, we learn many halachos about a person bringing a Korban Chatas for a serious aveira they did by mistake. One halacha is that the Korban Chatas is only a forgiveness for someone who trusts that it will be a kapara. If someone does not believe that it will be a kapara for him, his korban is not counted, and he needs to bring another one after doing teshuvah.

Perek Daled: If a person does many aveiros that all need a Korban Chatas, we learn when he can bring one Korban for them all, and when he needs to bring many separate korbanos.

Perek Hey: This perek teaches us special halachos if someone married someone they weren’t supposed to, and didn’t realize it was an aveira which has the punishment of Kareis.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh - Perek Tes

Today we learn how to figure out when spring starts, which the Beis Din needed to know to decide when it would be a leap year to make sure Pesach is in the spring.



Chof-Ches Teves

Today, in the year Tof-Reish-Mem, Rebbetzin Chana, the Rebbe’s mother, was born.

In the Rebbetzin’s diary, she tells stories about the times when her husband R’ Levi Yitzchak was arrested and sent to jail, stories about the Rebbe when he was young, and even some things that happened when she already lived in Crown Heights!

Many times in the diary, Rebbetzin Chana says how much she appreciates the visits of her son, the Rebbe, and how much nachas and chayus it gives her to see everything that he is accomplishing as Rebbe. (This is a beautiful example of Kibud Av Va’eim which we can learn from the Rebbe!)

Here’s one story about the Rebbe the way Rebbetzin Chana tells it in her diary:

In Tof-Reish-Samach-Hey (5665), there were goyim in Russia that were running around trying to hurt Yidden. Me and my children hid with other mothers and children in a pharmacy that belonged to a very nice goy. The babies and little children were very afraid and didn’t stop crying. The pharmacist was afraid that the mean goyim would hear, and he would be also hurt for trying to help the Yidden!

My 3-year-old son (the Rebbe) would walk around the room and quiet all of the children. This was really amazing to see! We couldn’t talk because people outside would be able to hear, so he showed them with his hands not to be afraid, and calmed each child down in a different way.

The pharmacist kept coming back in to see — he was so impressed with how my son took care of the children!


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Yud-Beis Pesukim - Review

We are reviewing the meaning of the last four pesukim, the last two of each set that the Rebbe taught us, which come from Chassidus. Chassidus shows us the neshama, the deeper meaning of Torah, and helps us to use our mind and heart and all of our inner kochos in serving Hashem! We are up to last two pesukim.

Vehinei Hashem Nitzav Alav — The posuk Vehinei comes from Tanya Perek Mem-Alef, which speaks about how to have Yiras Shomayim. We should think about how Hashem is the Creator and runs everything that happens in the world with Hashgacha Protis. Still, Hashem puts that all aside and looks at each of us to see if we are serving Hashem the best we can. Hashem depends on us and our choices in order to bring bracha to the rest of the world.

We see from here that not only do the feelings in our heart give us chayus in the Torah and mitzvos we do ourselves (as we learned in the posuk of Ki Karov), but it also makes a difference for the whole world!

This leads us to the very last posuk of the Yud-Beis Pesukim, Yismach:

Yismach Yisroel Be’osav — When we realize what our Avodas Hashem accomplishes, it will bring us great joy! When we know that what we do by making a Dira Betachtonim brings simcha to Hashem, we will be happy too!

This last posuk shows us the simcha we should have by fulfilling the purpose of Creation.

We saw from these two groups of six pesukim what the Avodah of a Yid is in this world, with himself and with others. We learn WHAT it is from Torah Shebichsav, HOW to do it from Torah Shebaal Peh, and how to do it with chayus and simcha from Chassidus! These are basic ideas of Yiddishkeit which we should know by heart, to think about at any time and wherever we may be.



Kiddush for Women and Children

Making Kiddush on Shabbos is a mitzvah from the Torah. We learn this from the posuk, “Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos Lekadsho” — “Remember the day of Shabbos to make it holy.” We remember the day by speaking about it. The Chachomim made a takana that when we speak about the praise of Shabbos to make it holy, we should do it over a kos of wine.

Do women also have a chiyuv to hear or make kiddush on Shabbos?

We might think that they don’t have to, since kiddush is a Mitzvas Asei Shehazman Grama — a mitzvah with a set time. Women usually don’t have to keep a Mitzvas Asei with a set time, since their shlichus of Akeres Habayis is more important, and the Chachomim don’t want them to have to worry about stopping in the middle to do a different mitzvah at a certain time.

But the mitzvah of Kiddush is different! Here is why:

In the Aseres Hadibros, Hashem tells us the mitzvah of keeping Shabbos. The Aseres Hadibros are written twice in the Torah. In one place it says “Zachor Es Yom HaShabbos,” and in the other place it is written “Shamor Es Yom HaShabbos” — “guard the Shabbos.” The Chachomim teach us that actually Hashem said both words, Shamor and Zachor, at the same time!

We know that women have to guard the Shabbos, by not doing any melacha on Shabbos. That is a Mitzvas Lo Saasei, which women also need to keep.

Since Hashem said Shamor and Zachor together, we see that they are both connected! So just like women need to keep Shamor, guarding the Shabbos, they also have a chiyuv to keep Zachor, remembering Shabbos by making Kiddush.

That’s why women also have the mitzvah to make Kiddush, even though it has a specific time.

What about children? Do they also have a mitzvah to hear or say kiddush?

Kids don’t have a mitzva De’oraisa, from the Torah, to make Kiddush. But their parents have a mitzvah Miderabanan of Chinuch, making sure they learn and practice the mitzvos so they will be able to keep them easily when they become Bar and Bas Mitzvah. Because of the mitzvah of Chinuch, as soon as children are old enough to understand what Shabbos is, their parents should make sure that they hear or say Kiddush on Shabbos too.

See Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch siman Reish-Ayin-Alef, se’ifim Alef, Beis, and Hey, and siman Shin-Mem-Gimmel se’if Gimmel

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



Bizchus Nashim Tzidkonios

The Gemara says that it was in the zechus of the women that we left Mitzrayim! “Bizchus Noshim Tzidkonios Shehayu Be’oso Hador, Nigalu Avoseinu MiMitzrayim.”

Now didn’t Hashem PROMISE that the Yidden would come out of Mitzrayim? Why did we need the zechus of the women?

The answer is that Hashem did promise to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim — after 400 years. But because of the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios, the Yidden came out much earlier — after 210 years!

What was this zechus?

We know that Paraoh made a terrible gezeirah that the baby boys should be thrown into the Nilus. It would have made a lot of sense for the Jewish women to say that they don’t want to have any more children, so that these terrible things won’t happen to them!

But the Noshim Tzidkonios in Mitzrayim didn’t think about what might happen. They knew that Hashem wanted them to have children, and so they relied on Hashem to take care of the children — and that is actually what happened! Hashem made nissim and the children were saved, and were even the first to recognize Hashem at Kriyas Yam Suf!

Because they brought so many more Yiddishe neshamos into the world, the shlichus they needed to do in Golus was finished so much faster! Instead of it taking 400 years to finish, the Yidden were able to finish their shlichus in Golus Mitzrayim in just 210 years!

The Rebbe tells us that this teaches us a very important hora’ah, a lesson for us today!

The Arizal says that the Yidden living right before Moshiach comes are a gilgul, the same neshamos, as the Yidden who came out of Mitzrayim. And just like it was the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios in Mitzrayim that brought us out of Golus early, it will be in the zechus of the Noshim Tzidkonios today that Moshiach will come so much faster!

Nowadays there are also reasons to be afraid to have children. We might be afraid that it will be hard, and that babies don’t give their parents a lot of time to sleep! We might be afraid that we might not have enough parnasa for so many children, or that it won’t be easy to give them the right Chinuch.

But like the Noshim Tzidkonios then, we shouldn’t think about what might happen. We should do what Hashem wants to have more children, and rely on Hashem to take care of everything! And in this zechus, with all of these special Yiddishe kinderlach, Moshiach will be able to come right away!

See Farbrengen Parshas Vayechi, Tof-Shin-Mem-Vov

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