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CHUMASH

Parshas Shemos - Revi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Hashem chooses Moshe to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem appears to Moshe in a burning bush and tells him to go to Paraoh.

Hashem wanted to pick someone to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim. Hashem now looked to see if Moshe was a good choice.

The way someone treats animals, who can’t take care of themselves, is the way they will treat people they lead. Hashem saw that Moshe was very careful with every sheep, and knew he would be a good choice to lead the Yidden.

Moshe would take the sheep into the desert so they wouldn’t eat from other people’s fields.

One day he came to a mountain called Har Chorev (this would later become Har Sinai, the mountain from which Hashem would give the Yidden the Torah).

On the mountain, Moshe saw a thorn bush that was on fire. A malach of Hashem appeared to him through the fire. Moshe saw that even though the bush was on fire, the fire wasn’t burning up the bush!

Moshe realized that he needed to stop what he was doing and pay attention to this Ruchnius’dike thing: Why wasn’t the bush being burned up?

Moshe understood that Hashem was appearing through a malach in a prickly bush to show that He is with the Yidden in the painful Golus. But Moshe couldn’t understand — if Hashem is with the Yidden, how can there be a Golus? If Hashem, like a flame of fire, is in the painful Golus, how come the Golus is not getting burned up and ended?

When Hashem saw that Moshe was trying to understand, Hashem called out to him from the bush. He called in a loving way, “Moshe, Moshe!” Moshe answered with humility, “Here I am. I am ready to hear what Hashem has to say.”

Hashem told Moshe not to come too close. Moshe should take off his shoes, because this is a very holy place! Then He said to Moshe, “I am Hashem, the Aibishter of the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.” Moshe hid his face because he was afraid to look at Hashem!

Hashem told Moshe that He saw how the Yidden in Mitzrayim are suffering so much. Hashem now wants to take them out of there, and bring them to Eretz Yisroel. He told Moshe to tell Paraoh to let the Yidden go.

Moshe said, “Am I able to go speak to Paraoh without getting hurt? And do the Yidden deserve to come out of Mitzrayim?”

Hashem said, “Don’t worry, I will go with you. The burning bush that you see, where the bush isn’t getting burned by the fire, is a sign for you that you won’t get hurt.

“The Yidden deserve to come out of Mitzrayim because they are coming out to serve Hashem, to get the Torah and do its mitzvos.”

Moshe asked Hashem, “When I come to the Yidden, they are going to ask me how Hashem could let such terrible things happen. What should I tell them?”

Hashem answered, “Tell them that even though they can’t always tell, I am always with them in Golus.”

 
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TEHILLIM

88 - 89

Today’s kapitelach are Pey-Ches and Pey-Tes.

One of the things it talks about in Kapitel Pey-Tes (89) is how Hashem gave the melucha (being kings) to Dovid Hamelech and his children. “Zaro Leolam Yihiyeh, Vechiso Kashemesh Negdi” — “His children will be forever, and his throne like the sun before me.”

Moshiach (Melech Hamoshiach) comes from Dovid Hamelech, so Hashem’s promise to Dovid Hamelech really does go forever! Melech HaMoshiach comes from the family of Dovid!

 
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TANYA

Likutei Amarim Perek Yud-Gimmel

In today’s Tanya, we learn that Hashem gives a special koach to the Yetzer Tov to win, even when the Yetzer Hara seems very strong! We also learn that it’s important to remember that we have a Yetzer Hara inside, and not to let our guard down.

In Perek Alef of Tanya, we say that for the Beinoni, “Zeh VeZeh Shoftan” — “this one and this one judge him.” What does that mean?

The Alter Rebbe explains that inside of us, we have a kind of court! In court, there are two judges, who are supposed to decide the way things should be. Each judge is allowed to say what they think, but they can’t decide on their own.

What if the two judges DON’T agree? They need a third party, who will decide which judge is right.

That’s what goes on inside of us! The Yetzer Hara says “I think I want to say something not nice to someone!” The Yetzer Tov says, “I don’t agree.” So who will decide?

There is a posuk in Tehillim that tells us who decides — “Ki Yaamod Limin Evyon, Lehoshia Mishoftei Nafshoi” — “Hashem stands at the right side (the Nefesh Elokis side!) of the poor man, to save him from those that judge his neshama.”

HASHEM decides who is right! And who do you think Hashem says we should listen to? The Yetzer Tov, of course!

We need Hashem’s help every time, because the Nefesh Habehamis can be very strong — and it gets stronger just by using it for the Gashmius’dike things we do on a regular basis! But Hashem can help us win over the Nefesh Habehamis in our “court” every time!

The Tanya begins with the words a neshama is told before it comes into a body, that it should be a tzadik and not a rasha. And even if the whole world tells you that you are a tzadik, you should see yourself as a rasha. One of the questions we asked is, if we see ourselves as a rasha, won’t that make us sad and keep us from serving Hashem joyfully?

Now that we know what a beinoni is, the Alter Rebbe gives us the answer to the question!

It doesn’t say that a Yid should think that he IS a rasha, it says that a Yid should think he’s “KeRasha” — like a rasha! A beinoni isn’t like a tzadik who doesn’t have a Yetzer Hara, a beinoni HAS a Yetzer Hara just like a rasha does — it’s just that he doesn’t listen to it.

That’s why part of the neshama’s promise before coming into the world is, that even if the whole world tells you that you are tzaddik, because you are doing so many good things, you still need to look at yourself like you are a Rasha. Remember that you have a Yetzer Hara inside just like a Rasha does, and only by working to fight with it all the time, you will be able to continue acting like a tzaddik.

 
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HAYOM YOM

Yud-Ches Teves

In today’s Hayom Yom, we learn how to be full of life, even in Golus!

In the year the Hayom Yom was written, today was Shabbos Parshas Vayechi.

First we learn a minhag about Kriyas HaTorah: The person who gets the last Aliyah of the Chumash says Chazak Chazak Venis’chazek together with the rest of the minyan.

We also learn a minhag about Shabbos davening: In Maariv of Motzei Shabbos, we say the posukOrech Yomim” two times — but not when we say this posuk in Shacharis on Shabbos. (Do you know where we say this posuk?)

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When the Tzemach Tzedek was a boy, his teacher taught him, according to the pirush of the Baal Haturim, that Yaakov lived the best years of his life when he was in Mitzrayim. The Tzemach Tzedek couldn’t understand how living in a kelipah-filled place like Mitzrayim could be the best part, and he asked his zeideh, the Alter Rebbe.

The Alter Rebbe answered him that Yaakov was able to live his best years in Mitzrayim because he first sent Yehudah to set up a yeshiva there. The words of the posuk that teach us this (Lehoros Lefanav Goshna) can also be explained that “when we learn Torah (lehoros) we come close (goshna) to Hashem!”

Yaakov had the Torah, which is called a Torah of life, in Mitzrayim. Learning Torah brings a Yid closer to Hashem than anything else! Because he had Torah in Mitzrayim, he was able to have Vayechi — a life, and the best part of his life — in Mitzrayim.

That’s also how we are able to be full of life, even in Golus: With the koach of Torah which connects us to Hashem!

 
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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #163 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #124, Asei #88, #83, Lo Saasei #155

Today we learn 4 mitzvos about korbanos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #124) Part of the Korban Mincha is usually eaten by the kohen. He is not allowed to prepare it in a way that will make it into Chometz.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: לֹא תֵאָפֶה חָמֵץ חֶלְקָם נָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ מֵאִשָּׁי

The details are explained in Perek Hey of Mesechta Menachos.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #88) The Kohanim need to eat the rest of the Mincha (flour and oil) — the part that isn’t burned on the Mizbeiach.

This mitzvah also comes from a posuk in Parshas Tzav: וְהַנּוֹתֶרֶת מִמֶּנָּה יֹאכְלוּ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו מַצּוֹת תֵּאָכֵל

The details are explained in Mesechta Menachos.

3) (Mitzvas Asei #83) When we promise to bring a korban or a present to Hashem, we need to give it at the next big Yom Tov (Pesach, Shavuos, or Sukkos).

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Reeh: לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָּׁמָּה וַהֲבֵאתֶם שָׁמָּה עֹלֹתֵיכֶם

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #155) We are not allowed to push off bringing a korban that we promised. If three Regalim (the three main Yomim Tovim) pass by and a person still didn’t bring a korban he promised, he is punished for not keeping this mitzvah.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: כִּי תִדֹּר נֶדֶר לַה׳ אֱלֹקֶיךָ לֹא תְאַחֵר לְשַׁלְּמוֹ

The details are explained in the beginning of Mesechta Rosh Hashana.

 
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RAMBAM

Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos

In today’s Rambam, we learn more halachos about bringing the Korbanos:

Perek Yud-Gimmel: We learn about the different kinds of Korban Mincha and how we bring them.

Perek Yud-Daled: This perek teaches us some general rules about when someone promises to bring a korban as a neder or a nedava.

Perek Tes-Vov: This perek continues with more detailed halachos about a nedava, when someone promises to bring a specific animal to Hashem.

 
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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Shecheinim - Perek Yud-Gimmel

In Perek Yud-Gimmel we learn more about the Bar Metzra — the neighbor, who gets the first chance to buy a field next door. We learn that a person can give a PRESENT, he doesn’t have to give it to the neighbor — he can give it to whoever he wants. But if he is only giving it as a present to trick the neighbor so he doesn’t have to sell it to him, the neighbor still has the right to buy it!

So the question in yesterday’s Rambam is answered: Hashem can give the Torah to whoever He wants as a present — it doesn’t have to be to the neighbor. Also, really, Yidden ARE the closest “neighbor” to Torah, since Torah talks about the mitzvos that we can only do in this world! The malochim had to agree in the end that the Torah belongs to Yidden!

 
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INYANA D'YOMA

Raising Kids to Torah

The Rebbe tells us about the plan of the modern-day Paraoh.

In Parshas Shemos, we learn how Paraoh made a terrible gezeira against the Yidden. He wanted to throw all the baby boys into the Nilus.

Nowadays, we also a have a rasha, our Yetzer Hara, who wants us to throw our children into the Nilus!

What does that mean?

Being very busy with parnasa is like drowning in water. Our Yetzer Hara wants us to throw our babies into looking for parnasa, even when they are little kids! It wants us to raise our kids to have a good job, instead of raising them to Torah.

Really, it is HASHEM Who gives parnasa. If we do what Hashem asks us to do, then Hashem will also listen to what we are asking for, and will give us and our children parnasa and all of the things we want and need.

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 111

 

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TEFILLAH

Modeh Ani

A person should get used to saying Modeh Ani right away when he wakes up. After he finishes saying Modeh Ani, he should get up b’zerizus, quickly, to go serve Hashem!

Even though we really need to start our day with zerizus, we shouldn’t jump right out of bed. It isn’t healthy to go from lying down to standing up too suddenly. We take a few seconds first to say Modeh Ani while sitting or lying down, and only then do we quickly get up to do our Avodas Hashem.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman alef, se’if vov

 
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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Checking Pockets

The melacha of Hotza’ah (carrying) has many details! One of the very practical things about this melacha is what the Gemara says in Mesechta Shabbos, and is also brought in halacha:

In a beraisa, R’ Chananya says that a person needs to check the pockets of his clothes before Shabbos, to make sure that nothing is inside. This way he won’t accidentally walk outside with things in his pockets, which is the melacha of hotza’ah. R’ Yosef says about this, “Hilchesa Rabsa LeShabbata,” how great is this halacha, which keeps a person from doing an aveira on Shabbos!

See Shabbos 12a and the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Hilchos Shabbos 252:20

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

Dedication to Chinuch Will Bring the Geulah

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

What did they do that was so special?

Even though Paraoh made a wicked gezeira that their children would be thrown into the water, the women just ignored it! They continued having children anyway, not thinking about what would be.

We can learn from them how to bring the Geulah nowadays!

The world says that we need to worry about what will happen with our children when they get older, if we don’t teach them secular subjects so they can make a good parnasa. We should ignore them! We should educate our children to have a chayus in Torah and mitzvos, and Hashem will take care of the children (and parents too!) with whatever they need at the right time.

This will both save our own children and bring the Geulah for all of the Yidden!

See Likutei Sichos chelek Alef p. 113

 
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