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Parshas Vezos Habracha - Shishi with Rashi

We are now starting to learn the last parsha of the Torah. It is the last day of Moshe Rabbeinu’s life — Zayin Adar. Now that he finished farbrenging with the Yidden about how they should act in Eretz Yisroel, he is going to ask Hashem for brachos for each of the Shevatim.

Moshe Rabbeinu first says how much the Yidden deserve brachos! Even though Hashem asked ALL of the people in the world if they wanted the Torah, only the Yidden wanted it. Hashem gave them the Torah on Har Sinai, like a Chasunah!

By Matan Torah, Hashem held Har Sinai over the Yidden like a chuppah! The Yidden all came closer under the mountain, because they wanted to have to keep the Torah.

The Yidden were ready to go wherever Hashem wanted in the Midbar.

They will also keep the Torah even when things are hard in Golus and it looks like Hashem is nicer to the Goyim! They will say, “Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe...” — “the Torah is like a present that belongs forever to the ‘family’ of Yidden, and we will keep it forever!”

Reuven: Moshe asked Hashem to forgive Reuven for moving Yaakov’s bed. He should be able to go into Olam Haba, and his Shevet should stay a Shevet.

Yehudah: Moshe asked the same bracha for Yehudah: Yehudah promised Yaakov that if he didn’t bring Benyamin back with him, he will lose his part of Olam Haba. Even though he DID bring Benyamin back, a promise of a Tzadik is still a promise!

But when Yehudah told the truth about doing something wrong with Tamar, it made Reuven realize that he should do Teshuvah too. Since Hashem will forgive Reuven, He should of course forgive Yehudah, who made Reuven do Teshuvah! (And right when Moshe Rabbeinu said this, Yehudah WAS let into Olam Haba!)

Shimon: Moshe didn’t give Shevet Shimon its own bracha, because Zimri was from Shimon, and many Yidden passed away in Shittim because of Shevet Shimon. Still, he hinted to Shimon in his bracha to Yehudah, by using the word “Shema” — like “Shimon.”



49 - 54

Today’s shiur Tehillim is kapitelach Mem-Tes through Nun-Daled. We also say kapitelach Kuf-Yud-Beis, Kuf-Yud-Gimmel, and Kuf-Yud-Daled. The rest of the kapitelach until the end of Sefer Tehillim are finished starting right before Kol Nidrei until after Ne’ilah, as is printed in the Machzor.

Starting today, until after the second day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, we do not say Tachanun. Based on the Frierdiker Rebbe’s takana, on a day we don’t say Tachanun, we say Kapitel Chof before we say the daily shiur of Tehillim.

In a maamar, which starts with the words “Kevod Malchus’cha Yomeiru U’gvuras’cha Yedabeiru,” the Alter Rebbe teaches us something very special about teshuvah, the Avodah we are working on now, and Kapitel Chof!

Usually we bring kedusha down into the world by learning Torah and doing mitzvos. But the chayus of Hashem that we bring down when we do teshuvah is much higher! It is the kind of Elokus that was in the Beis Hamikdash, in the Kodesh Hakodoshim! This kind of Elokus isn’t hidden in the world like most of Hashem’s chayus is.

How does Teshuvah bring down such a high level of Hashem?

The Alter Rebbe tells us that we can see the answer in the last words of Kapitel Chof: “Yaaneinu Beyom Koreinu” — Hashem should answer us on the day that we call.

When someone calls out to us or asks something, we usually answer them back the same way. If someone asks in a joking way, we answer them in a joking way. If they ask a deep question, we try to give them a deep answer.

The same way, Hashem also answers us the way we call out to Him. When we call out to Hashem in a way of Teshuvah, which comes from a very deep place inside of a Yid’s neshama, we bring down a very deep level of Elokus — this very high level like in the Beis Hamikdash!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof

In this letter the Alter Rebbe is telling us how the gashmius world we live in has such a strong koach of Hashem — much more than Gan Eden or any ruchniyus world. We learned that the koach of Ein Sof is in the words (the Asara Maamaros) that Hashem used to make the world, and that koach makes it become something from nothing every moment.

That is what is special about mitzvos too. They are all done with gashmius things that were all created with this special koach from Hashem.

That’s also why we find in Kabbalah that the chayus of Hashem in mitzvos is higher than everything — even more than in Torah! That’s because the chayus of Hashem that makes the gashmiyus that we do mitzvos with always also has this special koach of Ein Sof in it, that is greater than everything.



Tes Tishrei


At Kaparos, we say the paragraph “Bnei Adam” 3 times, and each time we circle the chicken 3 times around our head, so it goes around 9 times.

Until the end of Tishrei, we don’t say Tachanun.

Malkos: (We give “Malkos” on Erev Yom Kippur, in case we deserve it! The person giving the Malkos doesn’t do it hard, though!) The one who gives the Malkos says “Vehu Rachum” together with the person he is giving Malkos to.

On Erev Yom Kippur, our job is to feel bad for things that happened before, and on Yom Kippur, we decide that we are going to do better in the future.



Shiur #80 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #356) that if a husband and wife decide that they can’t be married anymore, and the husband gives his wife a get, they can change their minds and get remarried, unless the woman gets married to someone else in between. Once she gets married to another person, she can never get married to her first husband again, even if she gets a get from her second husband.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: לֹא יוּכַל בַּעְלָהּ הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שִׁלְּחָהּ לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ

The details are explained in Mesechta Yevamos in many places.



Hilchos Girushin

In today’s Rambam we learn the halachos of a get with conditions.

We also learn more halachos about shlichus — if the husband made someone a shliach to bring the get. The shliach needs to do everything exactly the way he was told. Only if he follows his instructions is the shlichus a good shlichus.



Hilchos Tefillah, Tefillin U'Mezuzah V'Sefer Torah - Perek Gimmel

The Rambam explains how the leather boxes are made for the tefillin. (Did you ever wonder how leather becomes such a perfect square?) When the leather is wet, we put it into a special wooden mold that helps make perfectly square tefillin, with holes in the right place to put the four pieces of parchment.

The Rambam tells us that the knot for the Tefillin Shel Rosh looks like a daled, but there is no way to describe it — you need to see it to understand it!



Birchas Habonim

Before the fathers go to Shul for Kol Nidrei, they give a bracha to their children. Our Minhag is for the father to bentch his children with the words of Birkas Kohanim.

After Mincha, the Rebbe would give a bracha to all of the Yidden, and then before Kol Nidrei, the Rebbe would give a special bracha, Birchas Habonim to the bochurim in Yeshiva. The Rebbe said that since they are learning in the Rebbe’s yeshiva, they are the Rebbe’s children!


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Erev Yom Kippur

Usually, after Boruch She’amar, we say the paragraph of Mizmor Lesodah. But today, Erev Yom Kippur, we skip this paragraph. Mizmor Lesodah speaks about the Korban Todah, and this korban would not be brought on Erev Yom Kippur in the Beis Hamikdash.

We also don’t say Tachanun or Avinu Malkeinu in davening.

We daven Mincha longer than usual, and with extra kavana to do teshuvah! Use a Yom Kippur Machzor for Mincha of Erev Yom Kippur, because we say Al Cheit at the end of Shemoneh Esrei. (If you forgot to say it during Shemoneh Esrei, you can say it after davening.)

See Shevach Hamoadim, Hilchos Yomim Nora’im



Erev Yom Kippur

We learned some Minhagim in Hayom Yom, but we have some more Minhagim for Erev Yom Kippur:

We “bet lekach” — asking for a piece of Lekach (honey cake). Some people say that we do this because Torah is called “Lekach” (“Ki Lekach Tov Nosati Lochem”) but the simple reason is so that Hashem should give us a sweet year!

It is also a minhag to eat Kreplach — there is even a maamar of the Alter Rebbe that explains Kreplach and why we eat them three times during the year!

There are many more halachos for Yom Kippur. See the Halacha Newsletters from Badatz of Crown Heights, and Rabbi Shmuel Lesches of Melbourne to review them all!

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



Avodah in Musaf

During the Three Weeks, we learned all about how the Beis Hamikdash looked. That makes it easier for us to understand what is going on when we hear about how the korbanos were brought.

In the Musaf of Yom Kippur, we go through all of the details of the Avodah of Yom Kippur. By paying attention when we say these words (look inside the English if you don’t understand), you will be able to picture the way the Avodah of Yom Kippur was done in the Beis Hamikdash, and the way it will be done in the Beis Hamikdash Hashlishi very soon!

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