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Parshas Tazria-Metzora - Shvi'i with Rashi

Today we learn about more ways that a person’s body can make him tomei:

Yesterday we learned about Zav, which is a tumah which can happen when the body is not healthy. Today we learn about two kinds of tumah that happen when a body is working just the way it should!

A healthy man can become tomei from something that comes from his body, called Tumas Zera, and a healthy woman can become tomei from something that comes from her body, called Tumas Nidah.

We learn how to become tahor from all of these kinds of tumah!

The Torah also tells us about how a woman can become tamei in a certain way that is called Zavah when her body isn’t healthy. Whatever she touches when she is tamei can also become tamei.

If she waits eight days and goes to the mikvah, she doesn’t make things tomei anymore, but she isn’t completely tahor and still can’t go inside the Beis Hamikdash.

For a Zavah to become completely tahor, she also has to bring two birds to Hashem as korbanos.

Now we have learned how a person can become tahor from tumah that comes from the body!



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Today, we are starting Sefer Tehillim again from the very beginning! IY”H we will finish the whole thing before Rosh Chodesh Sivan!


In Kapitel Alef, the first Kapitel of Tehillim, we say the following posuk: “Ki Im BeSoras Hashem Cheftzo, UveSoraso Yehege Yomam VaLayla.” “Hashem’s Torah is all he wants, and he is busy with his Torah all day and night.”

How come it first says HASHEM’S Torah, and then it says HIS Torah (that it belongs to the person learning it)?

Chassidus explains that when a person first starts learning Torah, it feels like it’s something that’s not part of him.

But when he understands properly what he learned, then the Torah becomes HIS, it becomes a part of him! Naturally a person has his own way of looking at the world. But when a person learns Torah, he sees the way HASHEM wants us to look at the world. When he learns and understands enough Torah, he starts to change his way of thinking to the Torah way of thinking — and this Torah way of thinking BECOMES his own way of thinking too!



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Gimmel

In yesterday’s Tanya we learned that before a person has the highest level of Ahavas Hashem, they need to first learn Torah and do mitzvos properly with Yiras Shomayim. What about for the lower level? Do you need to be doing all of your mitzvos properly then too?

Today the Alter Rebbe says that SOMETIMES a person can have Ahavas Olam, where they love Hashem and not anything else, even if he DIDN’T have Yiras Shomayim first. Hashem will sometimes help a person to have Ahava first, if he needs to do teshuvah right away. But that is something that happens with special Hashgacha Protis from Hashem only in specific cases — its’s not the regular way things work.

We have to try to do Avodas Hashem in order — first we should work on our Yiras Shomayim, to  learn Torah and mitzvos properly, and THEN we will be able to have Ahavas Hashem.

This is hinted to us in Shema! The word “Ve’ahavta” (and you should love Hashem) is the same Gematria as the word “Ohr” (light) two times! First we have Yiras Shomayim so our neshama has the light of Torah and mitzvos, and then we can have the light of loving Hashem.



Alef Iyar

Today is sixteen days of the Omer! It is also Rosh Chodesh.

Iyar is a very special month. Each day is a mitzvah, a day to be counted in Sefiras Ha’omer! In Nissan we count Sefirah only at the end of the month, and in Sivan we only count in the beginning of the month. But in Iyar, EVERY day is a mitzvah!

In today’s Hayom Yom, Rosh Chodesh Iyar, the Rebbe teaches us the lesson we learn from counting, the special mitzvah of Chodesh Iyar.

Once, at a farbrengen during Sefiras Haomer, someone said to the Rebbe Rashab, “The Alter Rebbe’s Chassidim were always counting!” (“Dem Alten Rebben’s Chassidim flegen alemol tzeilen.”)

The Rebbe Rashab liked this vort very much!

The Rebbe Rashab explained:

This is what avodah is all about! The hours need to be counted. If we count every hour, we are making sure that we used all of our time for serving Hashem. Then, we can count our day, because we know that the whole day was used for the right things.

When a day passes, we need to know what we accomplished that day, and what we still need to accomplish tomorrow. We need to make sure that tomorrow’s day is more beautiful than today!



Shiur #264 - Mitzvas Asei #245

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #245) is the same as yesterday: it is about buying and selling the Torah way! Something isn’t counted as finished being sold until the person was “koneh” it, showing that it’s theirs. One way we can be koneh is to pick something up, or to use it. Our mitzvah is to follow all of these halachos!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Behar: וְכִי תִמְכְּרוּ מִמְכָּר לַעֲמִיתֶךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in many places in GemaraPerek Alef of Kiddushin, Perakim Daled and Ches in Bava Metzia, and perakim Gimmel through Zayin of Bava Basra.



Hilchos Mechirah

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos of how to acquire something in the Torah way.

In Perek Daled, we learn that if something is put into your containers, it’s like being put on your land, and can become yours. We also learn more about other ways for something to belong to you, like shlepping it or picking it up.

In Perek Hey we learn about buying things by trading one thing for another, like buying a cow by giving the other person a donkey. A person can even give something small, like a handkerchief, to show that it belongs to the other person. This has a bunch of halachos about how it works!

In Perek Vov the Rambam teaches us how to be koneh things that you usually use to buy other things, like money and documents.



Hilchos Sanhedrin - Perek Vov

In Perek Vov, we learn what happens if the Beis Din made a mistake. We also learn that if someone is afraid a Beis Din might make a mistake, he can sometimes choose to go to a bigger one.



Chodesh Iyar

The month of Iyar has many special things. Here are three of them which we find often in the sichos and letters of the Rebbe for this month:

1) Every day of the whole month there is a mitzvah (Sefiras HaOmer)

2) This month is also called Chodesh Ziv (the month of light), because the Avos, who lit up the world, were born in Nisan, so their first month of life was Iyar! The word Iyar also is the first letters of the names of the Avos — Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Rochel!

א — אברהם
י — יצחק
י — יעקב
ר — רחל

We need to use the special kochos of Iyar to make the world even BRIGHTER!

3) The month of Iyar is the Roshei Teivos of a powerful posuk which speaks about healing! The Torah says, “Ani Hashem Rofecha,” “I am Hashem Who heals you.” This posuk speaks about the sicknesses of Mitzrayim, showing that one of the ways Hashem heals us is not to make us sick at all!

In letters, the Rebbe says that this month is a special time for health, as explained in seforim. (See for example Igros Kodesh chelek Tes-Vov, p. 100)


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Davening with Humility

Davening is called Avodah Shebelev, avodah with the heart. We fill our heart with feelings of Kabolas Ol and closeness to Hashem.

If our heart is already full of proud thoughts and gaava, we can’t do that. When a person thinks that he is very special and important, those thoughts fill up his heart. He isn’t able to think very much about Hashem at all!

That’s why, before davening, we need to make ourselves feel humble. This way our heart will be able to be sensitive to kedusha and be ready to stand before Hashem.

One way we can be humble is to compare ourselves to another person, someone that we think is not very special at all. When we first look at him, we might feel very proud of ourselves. We are much better than he is, right?

The Alter Rebbe shows us how to follow what our Chachomim teach us, “Vehevei Shfal Ruach Bifnei Kol Ha’adam,” “you should be humble from EVERY person.” Even looking at this person can make us feel humble.

Think about how this person has many nisyonos. There are parts of his life that are very hard, and many things he struggles with. Many things that are easy for us are hard for him! When we look at him, we sometimes think, “He really shouldn’t do that. That’s a really important mitzvah! How can he behave that way?”

But think about how hard it must be for him. We need to ask ourselves if WE work as hard in the things that are hard for US. We expect this person to try very hard to behave. Do WE try as hard when it comes to OUR nisyonos? Are we also working as hard in OUR Avodas Hashem?

We can also look at how a goy may be acting better than us, even though he doesn’t have a Torah to teach him how. For example, we can look at how Dama ben Nesina had Kibud Av Va’em. Is our Kibud Av Va’em as beautiful as his?

The Chachomim tell us, “Ain Omdim Lehispallel Ela Mitoch Koved Rosh.” Rashi explains that this means we need to prepare for davening with thoughts of humility. In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe gives us ways to think that will help us daven properly, with an open heart. Even though the Alter Rebbe is saying this about davening, of course we need to keep this way of thinking with us during the rest of the day too, so we look at other people and treat them in a humble way!

See Tanya Perek Lamed



Melacha on Rosh Chodesh

In the Midbar, a group of Yidden did a terrible aveira — the Cheit Ha’egel. Unfortunately, many of the Yidden ended up serving this Avodah Zarah.

The women in the Midbar did NOT do the Cheit Ha’egel. They didn’t want to be a part of it at all.

Because of this, Hashem rewarded them with an extra Yom TovRosh Chodesh!

It is a minhag that women don’t do certain kinds of melacha on their Yom Tov, like doing laundry or sewing.

Chassidus explains how specifically the women were able to overcome this very hard nisayon because of the special koach of emunah Hashem created them with, which helped keep them from Avodah Zarah. On Rosh Chodesh, women celebrate this special neshama-koach which was given to them as a special gift from Hashem.

See here for details about the halachos

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



Coming Often

The Navi Yeshaya says that when Moshiach comes, we won’t only come to see Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash three times a year, we will come to see Hashem every Shabbos, and Rosh Chodesh too!

Chassidus explains why we will come so much more often:

The reason why Yidden always went to the Beis Hamikdash on the Shalosh Regalim is because these are times of simcha. These Yomim Tovim weren’t just a time of simcha for Yidden, but a time of simcha for Hashem! When a person is happy, they don’t hide things so much, they want to share their simcha with others! The same is true with Hashem: At a time of simcha for Hashem, Hashem doesn’t hide so much in the world! Yidden would come to the Beis Hamikdash to be able to feel this simcha of Hashem, when Hashem was much more revealed.

When Moshiach comes, Hashem’s simcha will be complete! (This is even hinted to in the word Moshiach — the letters can be put in a different order to spell Yismach, that Hashem will be happy!) Hashem won’t only be revealed during the Shalosh Regalim, we will be able to feel it every Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh! That’s why we will come then to the Beis Hamikdash, to feel that special closeness to Hashem!

See Migola L’Geulah p. 254, from Sefer Hamaamarim of the Rebbe Maharash, Tof-Reish-Lamed

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