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CHUMASH

Parshas Lech Lecha - Shishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we learn about the Bris Bein Habesarim, the story of Hagar and the birth of Yishmael, and Avram’s mitzvah to get a Bris Milah. At the end of today’s Chumash, Avram gets a new name — Avraham!

Bris Bein Habesarim: Avram didn’t ask for a sign about having children, but he DID want a sign that Hashem would give the Yidden Eretz Yisroel. He wanted to know what zechus the Yidden would have so they could get Eretz Yisroel.

Hashem told Avram that it would be in the zechus of the korbanos that the Yidden will bring. So Hashem asked Avram to bring some animals to remind him of the korbanos: Three cows, three goats, three rams, a turtledove, and a dove.

He told Avram to shecht the animals and cut them in half. He should walk between the halves, like a path, and Hashem will send a fire to go between the halves to show that He is making a promise. This was called the Bris Bein HaBesarim — the promise between the halves.

So Avram did what Hashem told him to do. He didn’t cut the birds in half though, which was a sign that the Yidden will be treated differently than the goyim by Hashem, just like the birds in this Bris are different than the animals.

Vultures (a kind of bird that likes to eat dead animals) tried to eat the pieces of the animals, but Avram wouldn’t let. This was a hint that Hashem will only let Moshiach get rid of all of the mean goyim (who are compared to animals) in the time of the Geulah.

Then Avram got very tired and fell into a deep sleep. He felt very scared. Hashem explained to Avram that he was scared because he was feeling that there would be a Golus for his children, but Hashem would save them! They would come out of Golus with great riches.

Hashem also promised Avram that he would live a good long life, and that his children would serve Hashem. Hashem promised that in the end, the Yidden would come back to Eretz Yisrael.

Then Hashem made the sun set, and it became dark. Hashem made the fire go between the animal pieces, and promised Avram to have the full land of Eretz Yisroel, the way it will be when Moshiach comes.

Avram marries Hagar: Sarai said to Avram that maybe he should also marry Hagar, and maybe then they will have their own child. Avram understood that Sarai was saying a nevuah, and so he did marry her.

Soon after getting married, Hagar found out that she was expecting a baby! But instead of being so happy and grateful, Hagar started thinking that she was better than Sarai, since SHE was going to have a baby, and Sarai was married for so long (10 years) and didn’t have any!

Sarai was very upset, and said to Avram that he should have told Hagar not to talk that way. Because Sarai was upset, Hashem didn’t give Hagar that baby after all.

Hagar runs away: Avram told Sarai to deal with Hagar in the way she thought was right. Since Hagar was really a maid, Sarai gave her lots of hard work. Hagar was very upset and ran away to the desert.

A malach from Hashem came and spoke to Hagar, who was sitting by a wellspring of water. She wasn’t scared, because she was used to seeing malachim from Avram’s house. He asked her where she was going. Hagar answered that she was running away from Sarai.

A second malach told her to go back home, even though Sarai was in charge of her.

A third malach promised her that she would have many people coming from her and her children.

A fourth malach told her she would soon have a baby boy, and she should call him Yishmael, since Hashem heard (shama) her suffering. Yishmael would be wild and fighting with everyone, but his children would be friends with each other and they would live together.

Hagar thanked Hashem for being so nice to her. She realized that she didn’t deserve to see malachim, and was happy Hashem sent a malach to her. This showed that she did teshuva.

The well where the malach found Hagar is called “Be’er Lachai Ro’i” — the place where the living malach appeared.

Yishmael is born: Hagar soon had a baby boy. Even though she didn’t tell Avram what the malach said, he had Ruach Hakodesh and called him Yishmael!

Avram is told to have a bris: 13 years later, in Nisan, when Avram was 99 years old, Hashem told Avram that he would give him a new mitzvahBris Milah. Avram was worried that people wouldn’t want to be Jewish if they would have that mitzvah, but Hashem told Avram not to worry.

Through having a bris, Avram would become tomim — whole and perfect. Hashem promised Avram a lot of brachos if he would have a bris. He also gave him a new name — Avraham, with a Hey. This means “Father of many nations.”

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TEHILLIM

49 - 54

In today’s Tehillim, there is a posuk that says “Avon Akeivai Yesubeini” — “the aveiros of my heels surround me.” Dovid Hamelech was saying that he’s not worried that he’s not keeping the “big” mitzvos that are written in the Torah or taught by the Chachomim, he’s worried that the “small” mitzvos — even though he’s keeping them — might not be kept carefully.

The Rebbe teaches: When we say this in Tehillim, we are also talking about our own mitzvos. Of course we are doing mitzvos — like keeping Shabbos and davening — and even being very careful with them. But we need to be worried about the “small” mitzvos, our Chassidishe Hanhagos — like saying Chitas or having Ahavas Yisroel for a Yid we never met, since we might not be doing these as carefully.

We need be careful with ALL of our mitzvos, the “big” ones AND the “little” ones!

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TANYA

Igeres Hakodesh Siman Chof-Vov

Even though the Torah itself is from the world of Atzilus, which is completely kedusha, it comes down into a world that has not-good mixed inside of it. By working hard to understand the reasons for the halachos of the Torah properly, a Yid takes the Torah out of its Golus in the kelipah of the world!

Yesterday, we learned how in the Zohar, the Torah is called the “Eitz HaDaas Tov VaRa” — “the tree of knowledge, with good and bad.” How can we say that any part of the Torah is bad? We explained that the Torah IS only good, but it puts on the “clothes” of the world, so it will be easier for people in the world to learn it. Since the Gashmius of the world is mixed with good and bad, it makes it look like Torah is too.

Really, the source of Torah doesn’t have these things! But for us to understand it, the Torah needs to wear this kind of “clothing.” The Torah comes down to this world in a way that we can understand it, so we can connect to Hashem by learning Torah.

Gashmius in the world is mixed with good and bad. This is called Kelipas Noga. That is why the Torah, the way it is in the world, is in Golus inside the Gashmius of the world.

But when we understand the Torah properly, we are able to take the Torah out of this Golus!

How does this work?

The Raya Mehemna says that the questions on the Torah, which make it hard to understand the Torah, are also part of the kelipah surrounding the Torah. When we try to understand the Torah and take away the questions, we are taking away the kelipah, and letting the kedusha of Torah shine. That’s why when we learn Torah and understand it properly, we are taking the Torah out of its Golus!

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HAYOM YOM

Tes Mar-Cheshvan

When the Rebbe Rashab was 4 or 5, he came to his Zaide the Tzemach Tzedek on Shabbos Parshas Vayeira. He started to cry, and asked how come Hashem appeared to Avraham Avinu and not to us?

The Tzemach Tzedek answered that when a 99 year old tzadik decides to have a bris, he deserves that Hashem should appear to him.

This story was told by the Frierdiker Rebbe in Tof-Reish-Tzadik-Gimmel and was recorded in the Rebbe’s Reshimos. The Rebbe repeated and explained this story many many times throughout the years.

One of the things that the Rebbe tells us is that since we were told this story by a Rebbe, we need to learn a lesson from it! One thing we can learn from this is that even little children can feel that they want to be able to see Hashem. Even kids can care so much about their connection to Hashem and Yiddishkeit that they will cry if they are missing it!

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SEFER HAMITZVOS

Shiur #124 - Mitzvas Asei #124, #122, Lo Saasei #213, 214

Today we learn the last mitzvos about what we leave in our fields for the poor people.

Peret:
1) (Mitzvas Asei #124) If one or two grapes fall on the ground while we are picking them, we need to leave them there for poor people to take later. (This mitzvah, and the other mitzvos of gifts to the poor from our fields, are only kept in Eretz Yisroel.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וּפֶרֶט כַּרְמְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #213) It is asur to pick up the grapes that fall on the ground. We need to leave them for the poor.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וּפֶרֶט כַּרְמְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט

Shichecha:
3) (Mitzvas Asei #122) If we forget a bundle of grain in the field when we are cutting the wheat, or forget to harvest one of our trees, we need to leave it for the poor. (This mitzvah is also only in Eretz Yisroel.)

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְשָׁכַחְתָּ עֹמֶר בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא תָשׁוּב לְקַחְתּוֹ לַגֵּר לַיָּתוֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָה יִהְיֶה

4) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #214) We are not allowed to go back and get the bundle of wheat, or pick from the tree that we forgot.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וְשָׁכַחְתָּ עֹמֶר בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא תָשׁוּב לְקַחְתּוֹ

We learn the details of all of these mitzvos in Mesechta Pe’ah.

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RAMBAM

Hilchos Matnos Aniyim

In today’s Rambam, we learn the 5th and 6th presents for poor people from the fields, Shichecha and Maaser. Finally, we start learning about Tzedakah! This is what the last perakim in Hilchos Matnos Aniyim are about.

Perek Hey: We learn the halachos about Shichecha: If someone forgets a bundle of grain in the field, he has to leave it for the poor. We also learn that if someone forgets to pick the fruit off one of the trees in his orchard, that is also shichecha.

Perek Vov: Now we will learn the halachos about Maaser. First we review the halachos about the order of giving Terumah and maaser:

1) First we pick whatever grew and prepare it to be used. (For example, we separate the wheat kernels, or we squeeze the juice from the grapes.)

2) Then we take 1/50th for Terumah Gedolah, which goes to the Kohen.

3) Next we take 1/10th of what’s left for Maaser Rishon, which goes to the Levi. (He needs to take Terumas Hamaaser, 1/10th of what he got, for the Kohen.)

4) Finally, we take another 1/10th of what is left for Maaser Sheini. On the first, second, fourth, and fifth years after Shemitah, this is for the owner to eat in Yerushalayim. On the 3rd and 6th years, it is Maaser Oni — for the poor.

When a person has Maaser Oni, he needs to give any poor person that comes to his field at least enough to make him full. If he has a poor relative or friend, he can set aside up to half of the Maaser for him. If he has Maaser Ani at home, he can go give it to a certain person if he wants, or else he needs to give at least a kezayis to anyone who comes and asks.

Perek Zayin: Now we start learning the halachos of the mitzvah of giving Tzedakah! We need to give a poor person what he needs.

One halacha is that if someone says he is hungry, we give him right away. If someone says he needs clothes, we can first check if he is telling the truth. When a person goes from door to door to collect money, we give him a little bit, since he will be getting from a lot of people.

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RAMBAM PEREK ECHOD

Hilchos Biyas Hamikdash - Perek Hey

A kohen makes himself tahor by washing his hands and feet with the kiyor before the Avodah. He has to do this every morning, even if he was up all night doing the Avodah!

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INYANA D'YOMA

Story of the Rebbe

In this week’s parsha, we start to learn about Avraham Avinu. He was the first Yid who had Mesiras Nefesh to teach about Hashem to everyone in the world.

As we learned in Hayom Yom, we get the koach to teach other Yidden about Yiddishkeit from Avraham Avinu.

Here is a story from the Rebbe about how when we bring Yiddishkeit to other Yidden, through doing mivtzoyim, it brings us tremendous brachos in the things that we need!

Rabbi Groner A”H, the Rebbe’s secretary, once told this story:

A Yid from Eretz Yisroel called to ask for a bracha for his daughter, who was very sick. Next to the name of the girl, the Rebbe wrote the words “Azkir Al Hatzion” (“I will daven by the Ohel”), by the father’s name the Rebbe wrote “Does he go on mivtzoyim?” Rabbi Groner called and told the father the Rebbe’s answer.

The father soon called back to say that he was doing mivtzoyim at the nearest Chabad House.

A few days later, the Rebbe told Rabbi Groner to find out how the girl was doing.

When Rabbi Groner called, the man told him that it was a miracle! His daughter was much better.

When Rabbi Groner told the Rebbe this, the Rebbe said, “Look what mivtzoyim can accomplish!”

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TEFILLAH

Boruch Hashem Le'olam

After we finish the last kapitelach of Tehillim, we stand up and say a paragraph starting with the words, “Boruch Hashem Le’olam.”

This paragraph has pesukim from a few different kapitelach of Tehillim. The first posuk is the last posuk of Kapitel Pey-Tes, which is the last kapitel of Sefer Shlishi of Tehillim. The third and fourth pesukim are the last pesukim of Kapitel Ayin-Beis, which is the last kapitel of Sefer Sheini of Tehillim!

This is how we finish off this part of Pesukei Dezimra, praising Hashem with the words of Tehillim.

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HALACHOS HATZRICHOS

Amen

When you hear a bracha, you are supposed to answer Amen.

What do you think about when you say Amen?

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch teaches us what we should have in mind when we say Amen: It depends what we are answering Amen to!

The word Amen means “true,” like the word Emes.

When we answer Amen to a bracha (like if someone makes a bracha on food), we should think that the bracha the person said praising Hashem is true, and we also agree that Hashem should be praised that way.

When we answer Amen to a bracha that is a Tefillah, asking Hashem for something (like the brachos in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei), we have in mind TWO things: That the bracha is true, and also that we want the Tefillah to come true and be fulfilled very soon!

When we answer Amen to Kaddish, which is ONLY a Tefillah, we just have in mind that this Tefillah (Yisgadal Veyiskadash Shemei Rabah — that Hashem’s name should be recognized in the world) should come true very soon!

See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch siman Vov, se’if Ches

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

Techiyas Hameisim

In today’s Chumash, Shishi of Lech Lecha, we learn how Hashem gave Avraham very special promises at the Bris Bein Habesarim! One of the promises is that Avraham’s children will inherit the holy land of Eretz Yisroel!

In the time of Yehoshua, the Yidden got only part of Eretz Yisroel, the land where seven different nations used to live. But Hashem promised Avraham that he will get a much BIGGER Eretz Yisroel — the land of TEN nations!

This will happen when Moshiach comes.

Hashem hinted to Avraham Avinu that he would be there to see the promise come true! At that time, Avraham was living in Chevron. And when the promise comes true, Avraham will be in Chevron also — getting up from Me’aras Hamachpeilah, with Techiyas Hameisim!

Yalkut Moshiach UGeulah Al HaTorah

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