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Shvi'i with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we hear about the people who used to live in Seir, until Eisav pushed them out. We also hear about all of the eight kings of Edom (Eisav), even though they were from other places, and not really from the land of Edom!

Before Yaakov and Eisav were born, Sheim told Rivkah that when one would be strong, the other would be weak. So the Torah tells us all of the kings that ruled from Eisav, before the Yiddishe kings.

In Nach where it speaks about the Yiddishe kings, it says that from then on, there were no more kings of Edom. And after the last Yiddishe king, it says that again there were kings from Eisav’s family.

In Yalkut Levi Yitzchak, a sefer with the Torah of the Rebbe’s father, there are many explanations from Kabbalah about the eight kings from Eisav’s family and what each of them represent.



79 - 82

Today’s shiur of Tehillim is kapitelach Ayin-Tes through Pey-Beis.

Kapitel Pey-Alef was a kapitel that was said in the Beis Hamikdash on Rosh Hashana!

It mentions that you should blow the shofar: “Tiku Bachodesh Shofar, Bakeseh Leyom Chageinu,” and in the next posuk, “Ki Chok L’Yisroel Hu, Mishpot Leilokei Yaakov.” “You should blow a shofar on the new month, on the day that is decided as our Yom Tov; because it is a decree for Bnei Yisroel, a ruling of Hashem, the G-d of Yaakov.”

The Gemara learns from this posuk that between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, a person is judged for all of the brachos they will get for the coming year.

There are also other opinions in the Gemara, that a person isn’t just judged on Rosh Hashana, but he is judged every day! According to one opinion, we are judged every HOUR! The Chachomim tell us about a tzadik called R’ Yeiva Sava, that even when the food was on the table in front of him, he would daven to Hashem that He should give him food!

The Rebbe Rashab explains in Kuntres Umaayon that really all of these things are true. There is a general chayus that is decided for a person between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but every day it is decided how that chayus should come to the person. It’s like having money in the bank: Will you use it for something good, something not so good, or will it just sit in the bank until later?

How is this judgment decided? Based on how we behave!

So the Rebbe Rashab makes sure we know this, so that we don’t do anything silly like not having Kibbud Av Va’eim because we want to have fun, or davening super-fast so we can go play outside. We will get MORE brachos if we do the mitzvah right, and in the end we’ll have more fun too if we do what Hashem wants!



Kuntres Acharon

In today’s Tanya, the Alter Rebbe talks about the mitzvah of tzedakah. One of the special things about tzedakah is that it is able to bring the light of Hashem from our minds, into our hearts.

Really this is something that is very hard to do by ourselves, but when we give tzedakah to someone else who can’t get the money themselves, Hashem also helps us do something WE can’t do by ourselves — to bring the light of Hashem from our minds into our hearts!



Tes-Zayin Kislev

Hashem makes a person work in certain ways: If our tummies get tickled, we laugh! If someone says “boo!” we get scared. If we don’t eat for a while, we get hungry. Another thing about us is that our mind is in control of our heart.

For example, if we are in a silly mood and are playing around in the classroom, that means our heart wants to have fun! But if the principal walks in, we will stop right away, because we understand it’s not good for the principal to see us acting silly. What we think about can stop us from feeling a certain way! That’s called “Moach Shalit Al Halev.”

Another example is if a person thinks about all of the fun things he will get to do in camp — he will get excited and want to go! He was able to make himself feel a certain way by thinking!

Chassidus teaches us to use this koach in Avodas Hashem! Here are some ways to use it:

Let’s say that we want something that Hashem doesn’t want (like if we see a candy that belongs to someone else, or want to say something not true) — we can stop ourselves from feeling that way by remembering that Hashem is there watching everything we do!

We can also use our mind to make ourselves feel a certain way, like to think about the special time we are in, getting ready for Moshiach. This will give us a chayus to chap arein every chance we have to make the Geulah come faster!



Mitzvas Asei #220, #218, Lo Saasei #358, Asei #219, Lo Saasei #359

Earlier in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learned that it’s asur for a person to act like he is married without doing Kiddushin, getting married according to the Torah. Today we learn three mitzvos about what happens if someone DOES act like he is married to a girl without Chuppah and Kiddushin:

1) (Mitzvas Asei #220) He has to follow the halachos about paying her a fine for acting that way.

2) (Mitzvas Asei #218) If she wants, he HAS TO get married to her.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #358) If they get married, they are married forever and he is not allowed to give her a get.

There are another two mitzvos about somebody that says not true things about his wife:

4) (Mitzvas Asei #219) If a man says not true things about his wife (that she acted like she was married before she married him), he gets punished and he has to pay a fine.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #359) They have to stay married and he can’t ever give her a get.



Hilchos Naarah Besulah

In today’s Rambam we learn the halachos of the mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos. One halacha is that if a person acts like they are married without really getting married according to Torah, he has to really marry her, like the mitzvah says. Even if she is sick or has a problem that might make someone not want to marry her, he has to marry her anyway if she wants.



Hilchos Bikurim - Perek Tes

There are parts of each animal we shecht that are “Matanos” — given as a present to the kohanim. We learn which kinds of animals we need to give Matanos from, and what happens if we aren’t sure if they were given.



Sheva Brachos

We are still in the days of the Sheva Brachos after the Rebbe’s chasunah. (Yud-Tes Kislev will be the fifth day of Sheva Brachos!)

This special chasuna was the first step in the Rebbe working together with the Friediker Rebbe, and later becoming the next Rebbe — the Nasi of Dor Hashvi’i.

At the chasuna, during the Kabolas Ponim, the Friediker Rebbe said a maamar. Before starting the maamar, he gave a short but amazing introduction. He said that he would include an inyan of Torah from each of the Rebbeim, and through this each of the Rebbeim would be invited to the chasuna. (The Friediker Rebbe also included R’ Boruch Sholom, the oldest son of the Tzemach Tzedek, who is the Rebbe’s great-grandfather.)

The Friediker Rebbe said the first half of this maamar during the Kabolas Ponim, and the second half during the seudah of the chasunah. The maamar speaks about the avodah of Avraham Avinu, how he had Mesirus Nefesh to spread the knowledge of Hashem to the whole world! It also explains how important it is to have bittul and Yiras Shomayim before we start learning Torah.

The Friediker Rebbe said another two maamarim connected to the chasuna. One was said the night before the chasuna (at a special seudah for the chosson, called the “choson mohl”), and the other one was said the Shabbos after the chasunah. In these maamarim, the Friediker Rebbe mentioned the concept of “Kol Hashvi’in Chavivin” (the seventh is special), and how the seventh one brings the Shechinah down to earth.

These maamarim were very special to the Rebbe! When the Rebbe became Rebbe on Yud Shevat, his very first maamar of Bosi Legani discusses many of the same inyonim. There were also many later maamarim that were based on these maamarim of the Friediker Rebbe. And on Yud-Zayin Kislev (tomorrow!) in Tof-Shin-Nun-Beis, the Rebbe actually gave out a copy of these four maamarim, in a kuntres called Kuntres Drushei Chasunah, to men, women, and children!


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Mincha of Shabbos

In Mincha of Shabbos, we say “Uva Letziyon.” During the week, we say this after Shmoneh Esrei in Shacharis, but because Shabbos davening is so long already, the Chachomim moved it to Mincha.

We also read the Torah before Shemoneh Esrei. Ezra from the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah made this takana because there are some Yidden who aren’t so interested to come hear the Torah being read on Monday and Thursday in Shul. Since they come to Shul on Shabbos, he said that we should make another Torah reading at Mincha for them.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Reish-Tzadik-Beis




After Shmoneh Esrei (on a day of the month that there would be Tachanun if it was a weekday) we say three pesukim that remind us of three Tzadikim that passed away during the time of Mincha on Shabbos: Yosef Moshe and Dovid. This is the paragraph of Tzidkas’cha.

It is a little bit like we are mourning for them, so we don’t make a shiur during that time, but we say Pirkei Avos or Tehillim. The Rebbe told us of a minhag of his father R’ Levi Yitzchak, that he would say Kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes at that time.

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



Problems With Goyim

When the Rambam writes what will happen in the times of the Geulah, the Rambam writes that first Moshiach will fight the wars of Hashem and win; afterwards he will build the Beis Hamikdash; and then he will gather the Yidden — Kibbutz Galuyos.

We see that even before we have a Beis Hamikdash, we will already not have any problems with the goyim around us!

The truth is that this is possible even in Golus. The nations of the world can be afraid of the Yidden, and not want to bother us. The Medrash tells us how this can happen: K’SheHaKol Kol Yaakov BeBatei Knesios U’beBatei Midrashos, Ein Yedei Esav Sholtos. “When there is a voice of Yaakov learning and davening in the shuls and Yeshivos, then Eisav won’t be able to bother Yidden!”

Maamar Asara B’Teves 5738, Likutei Sichos vol. 20, p. 350

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