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CHUMASH

Parshas Ki Seitzei - Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe Rabbeinu is teaching the Yidden more mitzvos they will do in Eretz Yisroel!

Moshe Rabbeinu teaches the Yidden the mitzvos of Maakeh, Kilayim, Shatnez, and Tzitzis. Rashi says that we learn about these mitzvos here to teach us that if you do the mitzvah of Shiluach Haken, sending away the mother bird (which we learned about yesterday), then you will get to do a bunch of other mitzvos too, as a reward for the mitzvah!

- Hashem will bentch you with a new house — and you will have to build a Maakeh, a fence around the roof so nobody will fall off chas veshalom and hurt themselves.

- You will be bentched with fields — and you will be careful not to mix kinds of plants together — Kilayim. You will be careful with Kilayim by not growing other plants together with grapes, and not making two different kinds of animals shlep a plow together.

- You will be bentched with nice clothes, and you will be careful not to wear Shatnez — wool and linen mixed together.

- But when you wear Tzitzis, you CAN wear Shatnez — because the threads are supposed to be wool, and you can attach them even to a linen cloth.

Now Moshe warns the Yidden, that if they chas veshalom do something wrong, Aveira Goreres Aveira — one aveira can make it easier to do more.

If someone hates his wife (which is not keeping the mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel), and tells not true things about her (another aveira) to the Beis Din, her family comes to the Beis Din and proves that she didn’t do those things. That man gets punished, and has to pay his wife’s family 100 shekel, and has to stay married to her unless SHE doesn’t want to. If she DID do those serious aveiros, though, she gets punished with Sekilah.

Yidden being married is a very special thing! We need to be careful to keep it holy.

Nobody else can get married to a woman who is already married! If somebody does, they both are punished by the Beis Din.

If someone tries to get married to a girl without her permission, he has to pay her money.

A man can’t marry his father’s wife, even if it isn’t his mother. He also can’t marry his father’s sister-in-law who is waiting for someone to do Yibum.

There are some people who can’t marry other Yidden: Someone who is called a Petzua Daka and can’t have children, can only marry a Ger or a slave who was let free. A Mamzer, a person whose parents did certain aveiros, can only marry another Mamzer or a Ger Tzedek. Men from Amon and Moav, nations that did such mean things to the Yidden, are not allowed to marry Yidden, even if they become Jewish.

 
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TEHILLIM

55- 59

Today’s Shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Nun-Hey to Nun-Tes. For Chodesh Elul, we also say kapitelach Chof-Ches, Chof-Tes, and Lamed.

In today’s Tehillim, we say Kapitel Nun-Hey, which Dovid Hamelech said to thank Hashem for saving him from people who wanted to hurt him. Dovid Hamelech talks about how we need to have bitachon in Hashem!

He says, “Hashlech Al Hashem Yehovcha, Vehu Yechalkelecha” — “Give Hashem your problems, and He will take care of you.”

Chassidus explains that sometimes, we know where to go for help. We know which doctor is the best expert, which teacher has good advice, or how to earn the money we need. We have bitachon that Hashem will help that what we do will be successful, and things will be good.

But sometimes, we have NO IDEA what to do. We don’t know who to ask or where to turn to for help. Even then, we also need to have bitachon that Hashem will help us to come up with the right idea of what keli to make!

All of the things we do — like asking a doctor — are like taking out a cup (a keli) to catch the bracha of Hashem. But even if we don’t know what keili to use, because we have no idea what to do, “Hu Yechalkelecha” — HASHEM will make a keili for us! We should of course try our best, but we need to have bitachon that Hashem will help us even when it looks like there is nothing we can do.

 
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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Beis

If we give tzedakah even when it’s hard, Hashem makes the Yetzer Hara stop bothering us for a long time!

In today’s Tanya, we are finishing Igeres Hakodesh Siman Yud-Beis. Before we finish learning today’s Igeres Hakodesh, we will review a little bit.

The posuk tells us about two ways we can give Tzedakah:

1) Maaseh Hatzedakah — We like to give tzedakah, since Hashem made the neshama of a Yid want to give tzedakah!

2) Avodas Hatzedakah — This is when it is hard for us, and we don’t really want to. Maybe we aren’t in the mood, it is someone who makes it hard for us to help, or it’s more than we expected to give. It takes Avodah to do it!

Anytime we do a mitzvah, something special happens in the world — in Gashmius and Ruchnius! This is any time we do the mitzvah of tzedakah, and it is even MORE with Tzedakah that is hard!

Today the Alter Rebbe teaches us that when we do Maaseh Hatzedakah, we bring shalom between the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Hara. During davening, Hashem will help us make the Yetzer Tov stronger so we can tell what we need to stay away from. Then the Yetzer Hara will have a harder time ruining our Avodas Hashem!

But MAASEH Hatzedakah only stops the Yetzer Hara from confusing us for a little while, during the time of davening. Afterwards it will start trying to trick us again, and we don’t have complete shalom in ourselves until Moshiach comes.

AVODAS Hatzedakah, giving even when it’s hard, is so precious to Hashem that this lasts longer! Even after davening it will be harder for the Yetzer Hara to confuse us!

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud Elul

Today we’ll learn what happens when a Chossid goes into Yechidus!

The older Chassidim of the Alter Rebbe showed us that the word Yechidus has three meanings in Torah — and all of those meanings are things that happen to a chossid when he goes into Yechidus by the Rebbe!

1) The word Yechidus can mean CLEAR: We see the word Yechidus used this way in the Mishnah. It says that people knew something “Beyichud” — it was so clear, they knew it for SURE!

When a Chossid goes into Yechidus, something becomes CLEAR to him! He is able to see clearly where he is holding in Avodas Hashem, and where he needs to do better.

2) The word Yechidus can mean DESIGNATED (chosen for a certain job): The word Yechidus is used this way in Gemara! The Gemara says that Moshe was “Meyuchad” — designated for a special shlichus that only HE could do!

When a Chossid goes into Yechidus, he realizes that he is designated to do a special shlichus. The Rebbe shows him what special avodah he needs to do!

3) The word Yechidus can mean UNITED: We see Yechidus used this way in the Medrash! The Medrash says that the Yidden are “Meyachadim” — that we show that Hashem is UNITED and one with the world.

When a Chossid goes into Yechidus, he becomes UNITED with Hashem! He will be ready to even have Mesiras Nefesh, giving up the things HE wants to do, so he can do his special shlichus in the world.

Even now, there is a way for these things to happen to us! When we learn the Rebbe’s Torah, go into the Rebbe’s Yechidus room, and go to the Ohel, we can also CLEARLY see where we are holding in our Avodas Hashem, realize that we are DESIGNATED for a special shlichus, and be UNITED with Hashem so we are ready to do that shlichus no matter what!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #36- Nusach Birchos HaTefillah

Today’s Rambam and Sefer Hamitzvos are exactly the same! We read through the Rambam’s nusach for Shmoneh Esrei and Vidui. It is very interesting to see what is the same and what is different in the Rambam’s nusach and the nusach we daven!

 
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RAMBAM

Nusach Birchos HaTefillah

In today’s Rambam, we read through the nusach of every possible Shemoneh Esrei! We see Shemoneh Esrei the way it is said during the week, and the changes we make on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim. This way, we see every different type of Shemoneh Esrei there could be.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Mikvaos - Perek Alef

Now we start learning the next set of halachos — about the Mikvah, to make all of these things tahor!

Perek Alef explains the general rules about a mikvah — like that a person doesn’t become tahor until nighttime, even if they went to the Mikvah during the day, and that a person can’t have anything between them and the mikvah water (for example, a bandaid) — this is called a chatzitzah.

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Chodesh Elul

The month of Elul is a time for teshuvah and fixing up the past year, and also getting ready for the coming year.

The Rebbe teaches us that each day of the month of Elul can fix up that day of EVERY month of the past year, and prepares us for that day of each month in the coming year! (Since there are only 29 days in Elul, Chof-Tes Elul also includes Lamed of every month, the same way that in a month of 29 days, we say the shiur of Tehillim for Yom Lamed also on yom Chof-Tes.)

So on Yud Elul, we should think about all of the “Yuds” of the year.

Some of the “Yuds” that might be easier to remember are:

- Yud TishreiYom Kippur

- Yud Kislev — the Chag Hageulah of the Mitteler Rebbe

- Yud Shevat — the day the Rebbe became Rebbe, and yartzeit of the Frierdiker Rebbe

- Yud Nissan — the day before Yud-Alef Nissan

- Yud Av — the day after Tisha B’Av

Those are some of the “Yuds” in the year that should be easier to remember!

We can try to think of anything we did very well that we should do next year too, or a hachlata we made that now we’re ready to start keeping. Or, we might be able to remember a mistake we made then so that we won’t do it again!

See Hisvaaduyos, Tof-Shin-Mem-Tes, chelek Daled, p. 236; Shaarei Hamoadim Chodesh Elul p. 66

 

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TEFILLAH

Pesukei Dezimra

We learn from Moshe Rabbeinu that we need to say Pesukei Dezimra before asking for our needs. Before Moshe Rabbeinu davened to be able to go into Eretz Yisroel, he first praised Hashem for the miracles of Yetziyas Mitzrayim. We learn from this to also praise Hashem’s greatness before davening for the things we need in Shemoneh Esrei.

But there is another reason also:

Not only does Pesukei Dezimra help our davening be proper, by praising Hashem first, but Pesukei Dezimra helps US to daven in the right mood! In the Mishna, the Chachomim teach us that a person shouldn’t stand before Hashem in tefillah when he is depressed, lazy, silly, or busy. Instead, a person should daven with Simcha Shel Mitzvah, with the joy of davening to Hashem!

Saying the words of Torah in Pesukei Dezimra helps put us in a mood of simcha, when we think about Hashem’s greatness and how Hashem takes care of us. This way, we will be able to daven in the right way — with Simcha Shel Mitzvah!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Nun-Alef se’if Alef, Likutei Sichos volume 34, p. 70

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Apple and Honey

After Hamotzi on the first night of Rosh Hashana, we have a very special minhag of eating an apple dipped in honey.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Dip your apple into the honey (the Rebbe would dip three times!)

2) Make the brachaBorei Peri Ha’eitz” (have kavana also for other fruits you will eat during the meal or for dessert)

3) Say “Yehi Ratzon Milfanecha Shetechadesh Aleinu Shana Tova Umesuka!” “May it be Your will that this new year should be a good and sweet year!” We say it right after the bracha, even before taking a bite. This way, the Yehi Ratzon has the koach of a bracha, so that Hashem will surely send us a sweet new year!

4) Eat and enjoy!

See Halachos Uminhagei Chabad p. 13

~

It is also a minhag to have pomegranates on Rosh Hashana, asking that we should be packed full of mitzvos like a pomegranate is full of seeds. A pomegranate is an important fruit, because it is one of the Shiva Minim. We learned in the halachos of the order of brachos that we should make the bracha Ha’eitz on the most important fruit! So how can we make a bracha on the apple, instead of the pomegranate?

We also learned that if we WANT to eat a certain fruit first, if we like it more or are more excited about it, that fruit is called “choviv.” Since the “choviv” fruit is more important TO US, we can say the bracha on it, even if the Shiva Minim fruit is right there.

Since this minhag of apple and honey is so special, and we say the Yehi Ratzon specifically for it, the apple is VERY choviv to us! So we say the bracha on the apple, and not the pomegranate.

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

 
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GEULAH U'MOSHIACH

Hashem Will Bring Us Back

At the end of his sefer, the Navi Tzefaniah says a very famous promise from Hashem that will happen in the time of the Geulah! You might know these words from davening.

בָּעֵת הַהִיא אָבִיא אֶתְכֶם וּבָעֵת קַבְּצִי אֶתְכֶם כִּי אֶתֵּן אֶתְכֶם לְשֵׁם וְלִתְהִלָּה בְּכֹל עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ בְּשׁוּבִי אֶת שְׁבוּתֵיכֶם לְעֵינֵיכֶם אָמַר ה׳

Ba’eis Hahi Avi Es’chem — At the time of the Geulah I will bring you back

Uva’eis Kabtzi Es’chem — And at that time I will gather all of you.

Ki Etein Es’chem Lesheim VeliSehilah — Because I will make the Yidden known and praised

Bechol Amei Ha’aretz — By all of the nations of the world.

Beshuvi Es Shevuseichem — When I bring back the Yidden that were captured

Le’eineichem — In front of your eyes (this is a hint to Techiyas Hameisim, because the Navi is telling the Yidden of his time that Kibbutz Galuyos will happen in front of their eyes!)

Amar Hashem — So says Hashem.

See Tzefaniah perek Gimmel posuk Chof

 
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