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Parshas Vayechi - Rishon with Rashi

In last week’s parsha, we talked about how Yaakov and the Shevatim moved down to Mitzrayim. The way it is written in a Sefer Torah, this week’s parsha is different than any other parsha in the Chumash. If you look in a Tikun Korim, which shows how it looks in a Sefer Torah, you will see what the difference is. Can you find it? (Rashi gives two reasons why it is written this way!)

Yaakov Avinu lived in Mitzrayim for 17 years.

The Baal Haturim says that these 17 years were the best years of Yaakov’s life! We will see later in Hayom Yom that since Yehuda set up a Yeshiva before he came (where a Yid can learn and become close to Hashem), Yaakov could have the best years of his life even in a place like Mitzrayim.

Yaakov was 147 years old. Even though he wasn’t as old as Avraham or Yitzchak when they passed away, Yaakov was weak and realized he was going to pass away soon. He asked Yosef to come to talk to him, since Yosef was a very important person in Mitzrayim, who could help Yaakov with what he wanted.

Yaakov asked Yosef to make a shevuah (a promise on Hashem’s name) that he wouldn’t bury him in Mitzrayim. He had many reasons why he didn’t want to be buried there: He didn’t want to be buried in a place that would be full of the Makah of Kinim, he wanted to be right in Eretz Yisroel by Techiyas Hameisim, instead of needing to be rolled there when Moshiach comes, and he didn’t want the Mitzriyim to use him as an Avodah Zarah after he passes away!

Yosef promised, but at first he didn’t make a shevuah, because he didn’t think he needed to. But Yaakov knew that Paraoh might not want to let Yosef bury him in Eretz Yisroel, so he told Yosef he should make a shevuah, so he would be sure that Yosef would do what he asked. Yosef made the shevuah.

Doing a favor for someone after he passes away is called “Chesed Shel Emes,” true chesed, because he doesn’t expect to get any reward back from the person he is helping. Doing someone a favor without expecting to get paid back is the highest kind of chesed.

Yaakov bowed down to Yosef, to give him the koach to keep his shevuah. Yaakov bowed down towards the direction of the Shechinah, which was by the head of his bed since the Shechinah stays by sick people. Yaakov also bowed down to the Shechinah to thank Hashem that all of his children were tzadikim, even Yosef, who was a king of a non-Jewish land and had been trapped among goyim for so many years.

Efrayim, Yosef’s son, used to learn with his Zaidy, Yaakov. A while after Yosef’s shevuah, Efrayim saw that Yaakov was even more sick, and he told his father. Yosef took Menasheh (who was 25 years old) and Efrayim (who was 24) to get brachos before Yaakov passed away.

Efrayim told Yaakov that Yosef was here, and since Yosef was a very important person, Yaakov sat up with kavod, even though he was sick!

Yaakov told Yosef about a bracha Hashem gave him — that he would become a nation (meaning that Benyamin would be born) and a “Kehal Amim” (meaning one of the children would have TWO Shevatim). The bracha that one of Yaakov’s sons would become two Shevatim could have gone to Reuven, but because of something that he did, Yaakov said that it is going to Yosef. Menasheh and Efrayim would each become Shevatim with their own portion in Eretz Yisroel, but any later children of Yosef would not become Shevatim of their own.

Yaakov didn’t want Yosef to be upset about his mother Rochel not being buried in Me’aras Hamachpeila, and because of that he might not want to bring Yaakov there. He explained that she was buried near the road instead of in Me’aras Hamachpeila, because Hashem wanted her to be able to daven for the Yidden when they go into golus along that road.

When Yaakov was ready to give a bracha to Menasheh and Efrayim, suddenly his Ruach Hakodesh went away! He thought maybe Yosef’s children weren’t from a kosher marriage and that’s why. Yosef showed his father that he DID keep the mitzvah of getting married in a kosher way. He showed him the kesuba, so he would see that even though most people in Mitzrayim weren’t careful about this, Yosef was. The real reason why the Ruach Hakodesh left Yaakov was because in the future, there were going to be not-good kings coming from the families of both Menasheh and Efrayim. (Do you know who those kings are?)

Yosef davened that his father should get his Ruach Hakodesh back so he can give a bracha to Menasheh and Efrayim. Hashem did, and Yaakov asked Yosef to bring his sons to get a bracha.



44 - 48

Today’s kapitelach are Mem-Daled to Mem-Ches.

Kapitel Mem-Daled in Tehillim is the words of a Yid who cries out because of this bitter Golus. He asks Hashem to take us out of Golus for the sake of His holy Name which is with us in Golus.

In one of the pesukim, Dovid Hamelech gives a mashal for Golus. Golus is like a person sleeping, since the chayus of Hashem is in the world in a way that doesn’t seem to be awake and active.

We ask Hashem, “Urah, Lomo Sishan Hashem?” We ask Hashem to “wake up,” meaning to end this Golus which is like a person sleeping, and then we will be able to see Hashem’s chayus in its full glory in this world.

We can make this happen sooner through the Mesiras Nefesh of Yidden to keep Torah and mitzvos in the time of Golus!



Likutei Amarim Perek Zayin

In short: There is a second kind of Kelipah called Kelipas Noga, which if used Lesheim Shomayim can become Kedusha, and if not, it becomes a part of the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios.

In the last Perek, we said that anything which is not kedusha is called Kelipah. But there are two kinds of Kelipos. We talked about the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios, which is non-kosher things and aveiros.

Today we are learning about the other kind of Kelipah, Kelipas Noga. This kind of kelipa is anything which is kosher or allowed which doesn’t have any aveiros in it.

Kelipas Noga is in between Kedusha and the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios we talked about yesterday. Because sometimes it can become Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios, but other times you can make it into Kedusha!

Here is an example of the two ways: It doesn’t say anywhere in Torah that we can’t have candies and treats! So we know they must be Kelipas Noga.

Now if a person wants candy but not especially to help him serve Hashem, the chayus the person gets from it goes down to the Shalosh Kelipos Hatmeios. It can’t go up to Kedusha because Kedusha is ONLY something done for Hashem and for His Torah and mitzvos

But let’s say a person gets a treat in honor of Hey Teves, and is enjoying it at a Farbrengen, and it’s adding a lot of chayus and helping make good hachlatos — THAT treat becomes Kedusha!

One more example, from speaking:

Saying silly things and telling jokes isn’t an aveira, so it must be Kelipas Noga.

If we’re being silly just because we’re bored, it is not Kedusha, because we’re not doing it for Hashem.

But if we see that a friend is sad, and make some funny jokes so he’ll laugh, it becomes Kedusha, because we made jokes for the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel!

(Did you know that the Gemara talks about two jokers who used to make people happy? The Torah says that they have a special place in Olam Haba.

One famous Chossid who used all of his jokes for Kedusha was R’ Shmuel Munkes. Once Chassidim saw him in front of the Rebbe’s house, hanging upside down from a tree! They asked him, “What are you doing?!?” R’ Shmuel Munkes answered, “In front of a shoemaker’s house he hangs a shoe so people know what he makes. In front of the fish store you’ll see a fish hanging, so people will know what he sells. In front of the baker’s house you’ll see bread so you’ll know what he makes. So I decided to hang in front of the Rebbe’s house — so everyone will know that the Rebbe makes Chassidim!”

He did it in a funny way, because he knew that was the best way to teach Chassidim that they need to be Chassidim in a way they will always remember.)



Ches Teves

Do you know what you’re saying when you daven?

The Tzemach Tzedek made sure that the melamdim (teachers) who taught his grandchildren also made Pirush Hamilos part of the curriculum. Every month, the children would come to their Zeidy, the Tzemach Tzedek, to get a test on the meaning of davening which they learned with their teachers!

Now we have the Weiss siddur made by Tzivos Hashem with an easy to read explanation for children of the meaning of the davening. This makes it much easier for us to follow the hora’ah of this Hayom Yom — to understand the meaning of the words we daven!



Shiur #182 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #117, #119, #118, Asei #53, #52

The first three mitzvos of today’s mitzvos are about the Korban Pesach, and the next two are from the next set of halachos, Hilchos Chagigah.

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #117) We can’t leave any of the Korban Pesach meat until the next day — we need to eat it all on the night of Pesach!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo, where the Yidden are given the mitzvah of the Korban Pesach: וְלֹא תוֹתִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #119) We are not allowed to leave over any meat from the Korban Pesach we bring on Pesach Sheini — it needs to all be eaten that night.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Behaalosecha, where the Yidden are taught about Pesach Sheini: לֹא יַשְׁאִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #118) We can’t leave any meat from the Korban Chagigah, which is brought on Yud-Daled Nissan together with the Korban Pesach, until after the time we are supposed to eat it. We can eat the Chagigah for two days, so we have to make sure to finish it then! (This is separate from the Korban Chagigah in Mitzvas Asei #52, which is an actual chiyuv to bring. This Korban Chagigah which we bring with the Korban Pesach is optional, but if we do bring it we need to finish eating it on time.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: וְלֹא יָלִין מִן הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר תִּזְבַּח בָּעֶרֶב בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן לַבֹּקֶר

The details of this mitzvah are explained in many places in Mesechta Pesachim and Mesechta Chagigah.

4) (Mitzvas Asei #53) It is a mitzvah to be Oleh Regel, to come to the Beis Hamikdash three times a year, on Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos! A person needs to bring his sons along with him if they are able to walk themselves. When we come to the Beis Hamikdash on these special times, we bring a korban called an Olas Re’iyah, which is a korban olah and completely burned on the Mizbeiach.

We learn this mitzvah from another posuk in Parshas Reeh: שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָל זְכוּרְךָ

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Mesechta Chagigah.

5) (Mitzvas Asei #52) We come to the Beis Hamikdash three times a year — Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos! When we are there, we also bring a Korban Chagigah, in addition to the Korban Olah that we learned about before. This is a korban shelamim, which we are also able to eat part of and enjoy!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Mishpatim: שָׁלשׁ רְגָלִים תָּחֹג לִי בַּשָּׁנָה

The details of this mitzvah are also explained in Mesechta Chagigah.



Hilchos Korban Pesach - Chagigah

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about the Korban Pesach.

Perek Tes: In this perek, we learn the Halachos of how we eat the Korban Pesach in a group.

Perek Yud: We learn many halachos about the aveira of not breaking a bone in the korban. We also learn about the mitzva of bringing a Korban Chagigah along with it. The perek finishes with the differences between bringing the korban on Pesach or on Pesach Sheini!

Now we start learning about the Korban Chagigah:

Perek Alef: The Rambam starts to tell us about the mitzvah of going to the Beis Hamikdash for the three Yomim Tovim of Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos. There were three korbanos that Yidden needed to bring, called Olas Re’iya, Korban Chagigah, and Shalmei Simcha. We learned about the first two of these in today’s Sefer Hamitzvos, and we will IY”H learn about the Shalmei Simcha in tomorrow’s first mitzvah.



Hilchos Pesulei HaMukdashin - Perek Yud-Ches

It is a Mitzvas Lo Saasei that we are not allowed to make korbanos tamei, and a person is punished for it. But a person is not punished for making a korban pigul (for planning on doing something wrong with a korban), because a Beis Din can only punish someone for DOING something, not for thinking something.

Other problems for a korban are Nosar, meat left past the time we are supposed to eat it, and if a tomei person touches a korban.

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Hey – Yud-Beis Teves

Just like in the Yomim Tovim on the Jewish calendar the Jewish women had a big part (like in the story of Chanukah, with Yehudis), also in this Yom Tov of Hey Teves, a woman — the Rebbetzin — had a very big part in the nitzachon of Didan Notzach!

A little over a year after Hey Teves, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was nistalek.

In a sicha after the Rebbetzin’s histalkus, the Rebbe spoke about something very special that the Rebbetzin had done. As part of the story of Didan Notzach, the Rebbetzin said about her father, the Frierdiker Rebbe: “My father himself, together with his seforim and all of his things, belong to the Chassidim!”

By saying this, the Rebbetzin made it clear to everyone that the Rebbeim of Chassidus continue until Moshiach comes!

The truth is, the Rebbe said, that this is not something new. The Alter Rebbe already told us this, saying that it was heard from his Rebbe the Maggid, in the name of the Baal Shem Tov, that Chassidus will have hatzlacha for all the generations until Moshiach comes!

But there was something new and special about this: This time, it wasn’t just something that Chassidim knew. It was understood even by goyim! In fact, the words of the Rebbetzin were what made them decide that the seforim should stay where they are until today!

Today is also the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the wife of the Tzemach Tzedek — who our Rebbetzin was named after.

See sicha Shabbos Teruma 5748

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Learning Pirush Hamilos

When the Frierdiker Rebbe came to America, there were four mosdos that he set up. One of the mosdos is called Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, which was set up to help in all parts of chinuch. When the Rebbe came to America the next year, the mosad was given over to the Rebbe to take care of.

One of the peulos of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, as written in the back of Hayom Yom, was to make a curriculum for day schools, which had only a half day to learn Jewish subjects. One of the very important subjects, which is actually the first on the list, is davening and Biur Tefillah — understanding the meaning of the davening.

There is a very detailed list of what to learn in Biur Tefillah in each grade, starting from first grade and going to eighth. The younger grades, who are doing a shorter davening, start by learning what they actually say. Then, each year the students learn more of the most important tefillos, until by eighth grade they understand the davening for every day, Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, Yom Tov, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur!

We see from here how important it is for us to understand the meaning of davening!

See Tochnis Limudim, printed in Wolf Bar Mitzvah teshurah



Pirush Hamilos

In the year Tof-Shin-Beis, the Rebbe prepared a list of Chabad minhagim, which were supposed to be printed as part of the siddur. (In the end, they weren’t printed until 65 years later, in a sefer called Hagahos L’Siddur Rabbeinu Hazeken, but most of the minhagim written there are found in different Hayom Yoms.)

At the top of the list of minhagim for davening is today’s Hayom Yom, which speaks about how important it is to understand the meaning of davening!

It is a halacha that a Yid should understand the tefillos, and we see from here the importance it is given as a Chabad minhag. We shouldn’t wait until later to learn it, we teach children from a young age to understand the meaning of the words of davening.

See Hayom Yom Hamevuar, p. 79

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



Hoping for Moshiach

The Chida brings what it says in the Medrash, Yalkut Shimoni, about hoping for Moshiach: It says that in the zechus of our hoping, we will deserve for Moshiach to come!

This helps us understand the bracha of Es Tzemach in Shemoneh Esrei: We ask Hashem to bring Moshiach, “Ki Lishuascha Kivinu Kol Hayom,” because we hope for Moshiach all day.

We aren’t just telling Hashem that we want Moshiach so much, we are asking Hashem that even if we don’t deserve Moshiach for any other reason, that it should be counted that we deserve to have Moshiach because we hope for Your yeshuah (salvation — Moshiach) all day!

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