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Shvi'i with Rashi

In Parshas Tetzaveh, we learned about lighting the Menorah with Shemen Zayis Zach, the first oil to come out of the olives. In today’s Chumash, we learn this AGAIN. Rashi tells us that in Parshas Tetzaveh, we were learning WHY we need a Menorah in the Mishkan, and only here, in Parshas Emor, is Hashem telling us to DO the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah!

Hashem also tells us to bake the Lechem HaPanim and put it on the Shulchan. Rashi says that these challos were very thin. That’s why there were racks on the Shulchan, to hold them up so they won’t break. But the bottom challah had to go right on top of the Shulchan, to do what the Torah says, to put the challos on top of the Shulchan.

Next to each pile of challos, the kohen would put a bowl of a spice called levonah, as a present for Hashem. The challos weren’t burned on the Mizbeiach, the kohanim got to eat them. The spices were burned instead, when they took the challah off on Shabbos.

Now the Torah tells us about a person in the midbar who was punished for something he did:

A man, the son of Shlomis bas Divri, tried to stay in the wrong part of where the Yidden had their tents. The Yidden stayed in the part of their father’s shevet, but because this man’s father was a Mitzri, he couldn’t stay in the regular parts with the shevatim. He tried anyway, to stay with his mother’s shevet, Dan. Someone from Dan brought him to Moshe’s Beis Din, and Moshe said he couldn’t camp there.

Rashi tells us why the Torah tells us his mother’s name: Her name hints to us that she would say hello to everyone (“Shlomis” is like “Shalom!”), even to men, and liked to talk a lot to everyone (“bas Divri” like “medaberes”, talking). Because she wasn’t careful who she talked to, a Mitzri forced her to marry him, and she had a son — this one, who later cursed Hashem.

This man got angry at Moshe. He started to make fun of things Hashem said. He said, “Shouldn’t a king eat fresh bread? The bread on the Shulchan is only baked once a week! So Hashem gets cold stale bread?” (Of course, the Lechem Hapanim stayed fresh and warm all week!) He started to curse in Hashem’s name.

The Yidden arrested him and asked Moshe what to do. Moshe asked Hashem, and Hashem told Moshe about the punishments for this kind of aveira. If someone curses in Hashem’s name, using Hashem’s four-letter name (Sheim Havaya), he is punished by Beis Din with sekilah, stoning.

Hashem also told Moshe about how someone is punished for hurting a person or an animal. These halachos are for ALL Yidden, including Geirim.

Moshe taught these mitzvos to all of the Yidden, and they punished the son of Shlomis bas Divri like Hashem told them to.



97 - 103

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

The Gemara explains based on this posuk 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 qualities together — they teach us Torah and how we need to serve Hashem, and help each one of us according to our level come closer to doing the right thing.



Likutei Amarim Perek Mem-Tes

When a person thinks about the brachos before Shema, it will help him feel a love for Hashem.

It is like a mashal of a King who comes and takes a poor person out of the garbage dump, and brings him into the palace and loves him and hugs him. (We learned about this mashal in Perek Mem-Vov.)

When we think about how Hashem is so great, that all of the malachim are like nothing before Hashem, and Hashem still chooses Yidden as His nation because He loves us, that will make us love Hashem too!

This will help us do what we are saying in Shema, “Ve’ahavta Es Hashem Elokecha,” to love Hashem. When we love Hashem, we will want so much to be close to Hashem! How can we do that?

We do what it says later in Shema, “Vehayu Hadevarim Ha’eileh ... Al Levavecha,” we should think and speak words of Torah. When we think about Torah, our mind is connected to Hashem’s thinking, because Torah is the chochmah of Hashem! When our mind is connected to Hashem through Torah, it will make us feel very close to Hashem.

But this isn’t enough to show how we love Hashem back.

We need to SAY the words of Torah and davening, and DO the mitzvos, because Hashem wants us to do mitzvos in this world, using the Gashmius of the world for kedusha.

Because why did Hashem do all of the Tzimtzum? So that we will be able to see Hashem in this world! Hashem wants us to change the darkness of the world into light, and the “bitterness” of Kelipah into the “sweetness” of Kedusha!

And that’s our job! To bring down Hashem’s light into the world through our Torah and mitzvos. We can only do this right if we first love Hashem so much that we are ready to do ANYTHING Hashem wants us to.



Chof Iyar

Today is thirty-five days of the Omer!

Sometimes it feels like it’s too hard to do something. It’s too hard to do our homework, or review what we learned in class, or be nice to a friend we got into an argument with. We think that maybe someone else should do it for us — our parents or our teachers.

Today’s Hayom Yom tells us that this is a mistake!

We can’t use anyone else as an excuse not to do something we need to do ourselves. (This is like what the Mishnah says: “Im Ain Ani Li, Mi Li?” If I don’t take care of what I need for myself, who ELSE can do it for me?)

It’s not always easy to do these kinds of things! That’s why we need to work HARD. (As the Chachomim teach us, “Yogaati Umotzosi, Taamin!” — when we work hard, it will work!)

We do need to be careful, though, when we are helping another person. Even though we are working hard ourselves, we need to be kind and patient.

When we are patient and friendly, with Hashem’s help we will have hatzlacha with other people! People that we are nice to are happy to do good things together with us.

But if you make other people feel like they are not important, or that you are the best, you will lose everything. Nobody wants to feel bad, and if you think that you are the only special one, you’re not going to be able to do good things together with other people.



Mitzvas Asei #105

Today’s mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #105) is about another kind of tumah, called Tumas Shichvas Zera, a kind of liquid that makes things tomei. We need to follow the halachos about how someone becomes tomei from Zera, and how to become tahor.



Hilchos Shaar Avos HaTumos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more about Tumah and Tahara.

Perek Yud-Beis explains how food that is Kodesh (like meat from korbanos) is much stricter with its halachos of Tumah and Tahara than Terumah is.

Perek Yud-Gimmel teaches us about different levels of Tahara. The Chachomim decided that if a person went to the mikvah to become Tahor for one level, they don’t automatically become Tahor enough for all of them.

The Chachomim also tell us things that when there is a safek, we say that they are Tomei.

In Perek Yud-Daled we learn about things that when there is a safek, we say are they are Tahor.



Hilchos Ishus - Perek Tes-Vov

In this perek, we learn about the mitzvah of Pru Urevu.



Leben Mit Di Tzeit

The Torah doesn’t always tell us what day things happened, but in Parshas Behaalosecha, we learn about something special that happened today, on Chof Iyar!

Today was the first day that the Yidden left from Midbar Sinai after getting the Torah. They had stayed there for almost a year (since they came on Rosh Chodesh Sivan). Now, on the 20th of Iyar the next year, they started traveling for the first time through the Midbar! “Vayehi Binso’a HoAron…” — the Aron led the Yidden as they went.

This day has a very important message for us! It’s easy for us to realize that Hashem is with us when we are “at Har Sinai,” like when we are doing mitzvos and learning Torah. But we might think that when we “leave Har Sinai,” like when we go to play or eat or work, that Hashem isn’t with us as much anymore.

But what happened today shows us that’s not true! The Torah we learned goes in front of us, like the Aron, and clears the way to help us be able to always act the way Hashem wants us to! Moshe Rabbeinu davens for us that nothing should stand in our way of doing what Hashem wants.

from a sicha at a children’s rally, Chof Iyar, 5740


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Shomeia Tefillah

In the middle brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem for our needs. The last of these brachos is Shomeia Tefillah.

First, we asked Hashem to bring us our own private Geulah, to take away all of the things that keep us from doing what Hashem wants. We asked for a healthy sechel, to want to act the way Hashem shows us in the Torah, which will then bring us the brachos from Shomayim of health, parnasa, and nachas. Then we asked for the Geulah for all of the Yidden. We asked Hashem to bring the Yidden back to Eretz Yisroel, re-establish the Sanhedrin, build up Yerushalayim, and bring Moshiach.

Now we ask Hashem to listen to all of our tefillos.

In Shulchan Aruch and other seforim, it teaches that this is the place to ask Hashem for any detailed things we want Hashem to help us with. By asking Hashem for these detailed things, we show that we know Who to ask when we need something! First we ask Hashem, and only afterwards do we use the kochos Hashem gave us to make a keili to bring down the bracha of Hashem.



Shehecheyanu in Sefira

There are many different minhagim about saying the bracha of Shehecheyanu on new fruit during Sefiras Ha’omer.

We learned in Hayom Yom that it is our minhag NOT to say Shehecheyanu during Sefira.

But this is only during the week. On Shabbos and Lag B’omer, we DO say a Shehecheyanu on new fruit!

So for example, if someone has a birthday during Sefiras Ha’omer, usually they can’t keep the minhag of making a Shehecheyanu on a new fruit on their birthday. But if their birthday falls out on Shabbos, they are able to keep this minhag even during Sefira!

See Shulchan Menachem vol. 3 p. 26

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



U'she'avtem Mayim Besason

The Navi Yeshaya tells us how the Yidden will feel when Moshiach comes:

וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם מַיִם בְּשָׂשׂוֹן מִמַּעַיְנֵי הַיְשׁוּעָה

U’she’avtem Mayim Besason — And you will draw water with joy

Mimaaynei Hayeshuah — Because it is coming from a wellspring, a fountain of water that never runs out — the wellspring of yeshuah, our being saved!

What does this mean?

The meforshim explain that this is a mashal.

The Metzudos tells us that this is a mashal about the goodness of Hashem, which He will show us in the times of the Geulah. It will be like someone who is taking water from a fountain, who can take as much water as he wants, without being worried that it might run out. We will feel that Hashem is giving us only open goodness that never ends!

Rashi tells us that water is a mashal for Torah! Because of the hard parts of Golus, Yidden forgot a lot of Torah. But in the times of the Geulah, our hearts will open up and we will be shown the secrets of the Torah that we never knew before! Because of the fountains of yeshuah, which will open up our hearts, we will be able to take these new secrets of Torah with joy!

See Yeshaya perek Yud-Beis posuk Gimmel

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