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Parshas Matos-Masei - Shishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the Nesiim who will help split up Eretz Yisroel, and where the Leviim will live.

Hashem told Moshe who should be in charge of dividing up Eretz Yisroel — Elazar the Kohen Gadol, and Yehoshua bin Nun. The Nasi from each Shevet should be in charge of the part for his shevet.

Here are the names of the Nesiim:

Yehuda: Kalev ben Yefuneh
Shimon: Shmuel ben Amihud
Binyamin — Elidad ben Kislon
Dan: Buki ben Yagli
Menasheh: Chaniel ben Eifod
Efrayim: Kemuel ben Shiftan
Zevulun: Elitzafan ben Parnach
Yissachar: Paltiel ben Azan
Asher: Achihud ben Shlomi
Naftali: Pedahel ben Amihud

(We don’t say the Nesiim for Shevet Reuven or Gad, because they already have their land, on the other side of the Yarden!)

Then Hashem tells Moshe about the cities for Shevet Levi. They don’t GET a part of Eretz Yisroel — there are just certain cities that will be for the Leviim to LIVE.

The Yidden should give them the six cities which will be an Ir Miklat, and then 42 more cities. Each city needs to be surrounded by 1000 amos of open space, and 1000 amos of fields to grow things, on all sides of the cities.

In today’s Chumash, there are two very rare trop — this is the only place they appear in the entire Torah! Can you find them?



119 (first half)

Today’s Tehillim is the first half of kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes. It is such a long kapitel that we say half on one day, and half on the next!

The last posuk of today’s Tehillim, which starts with a Lamed, is “Lechol Tichla Ra’isi Keitz, Rechava Mitzvas’cha Me’od.” “I have seen an end to every goal, but Your mitzvah is very wide.”

The Rebbe Rashab explains this posuk according to Chassidus, in his famous hemshech Tof-Reish-Samech-Vov. (A hemshech is a group of maamorim that are connected to each other, and help us understand one inyan very very well. This sefer has 61 maamorim, and explains the reason Hashem made the world and how the avodah of Yidden fulfills that purpose.) There are many different meforshim on this posuk, and the maamarim in “Samech-Vov” explain them according to Chassidus.

Lechol Tichla” is like the words “Klos Hanefesh,” the strong wanting of the neshama to become close to Hashem. Even though it is important to feel this way so that we will do mitzvos properly, it is still just a feeling — and any feeling that a person can have can be measured.

But “Rechava Mitzvas’cha Me’od” — a mitzvah has NO limits! A mitzvah, even though we do it with limited Gashmius things, isn’t based on our feeling of wanting to be close to Hashem. It’s what Hashem wants, and Hashem has no limits. So our mitzvos are able to be much stronger than anything we can ever feel. Their koach has no end, just like Hashem Who gave them to us!



Igeres Hateshuvah Perek Tes

After the Alter Rebbe told us the mitzvah of Teshuvah and how it works according to Chassidus, we learn how to make our Teshuvah a lasting Teshuvah. The Alter Rebbe tells us that we need to think about two things — Rachmanus on the Neshama, and what happens when someone does an aveira. After a person does that, his aveiros get “blown away” like a wind blows away clouds, and he’s ready for the next level of Teshuva, called Teshuvah Ila’ah.

Teshuvah Ila’ah means that the Yid loves Hashem so much! He wants to be close to Hashem, and he has a lot of chayus to do what Hashem wants.

We said before that every mitzvah is like a string of a rope, connecting us to Hashem. If chas veshalom a string is cut (from an aveira), then it needs to be knotted back together. When you tie a knot in a rope, it makes that part extra-strong! The knot is double and triple layers of string.

When we do Teshuvah Ila’ah, we need to make sure that our connection to Hashem is now EXTRA-strong! For example, if someone makes a mistake in eating kosher, he should now be MORE careful than before!

There are three ways a Yid serves Hashem — Torah, Avodah (davening), and Gemilus Chassadim. Today the Alter Rebbe talks about Torah and Gemilus Chassadim, because this is the way Hashem connects to US. Tomorrow, IY”H, we will learn more about Tefillah, which is how WE come closer to Hashem.



Chof-Hey Tammuz

Where does a Yid get the strength to do the right thing even when the guf doesn’t want, like when we’re not in the mood?

In today’s Hayom Yom we will see that there are two expressions in Chassidus which teach us about the koach which is in the neshama of a Yid, which helps us do the Ratzon of Hashem always!

The two expressions are:

1) A Yid Derkent Getlichkeit Un Filt Dem Lemaalah Min Hateva! A Yid recognizes Hashem and feels what is higher than nature, without needing any proofs for it

2) A Yid Nit Er Vil Nit Er Ken Zein Opgerisen Fun Getlichkeit! The neshama of a Yid, by nature, does not want and cannot allow itself to become separated from Hashem.

The Rebbe shows us how these two expressions are really one thing! Every Yid is ready to do what Hashem wants, not because he is going to get a prize for it, but because he knows his neshama is connected to Hashem and he CAN’T imagine doing something against what Hashem wants!

How can a Yid feel that, though, when we can’t see Hashem?

Because he recognizes that Hashem is there. He knows that everything happens because Hashem runs the world, and he FEELS a connection with Hashem even though he’s not able to see it.

With this koach of the neshama, he is able to do what Hashem wants, even if the guf is not in the mood.



Shiur #8 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64, Asei #8, Asei #6, #206

Today we learn four mitzvos in Sefer Hamitzvos:

1) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #64) We need to trust what Hashem tells us through a Navi (once we know he is really a Navi), and not keep testing him to see if what he is saying is true.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vaeschanan: לֹא תְנַסּוּ אֶת ה׳ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם

2) (Mitzvas Asei #8) We need to act like Hashem! The Torah uses many ways to describe Hashem, like that Hashem is a Rachum, that Hashem has Rachmonus. This mitzvah is that we need to also follow Hashem’s ways, and have Rachmonus like Hashem does!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Ki Savo: וְהָלַכְתָּ בִּדְרָכָיו

3) (Mitzvas Asei #6) We have to stay close to Hashem. How can we do that? By staying close to the Chachomim, who learn Hashem’s Torah!

We should spend time with them, and try to eat, drink, and do business with them so we can learn from them how a Yid should behave!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Eikev: וּלְדָבְקָה בוֹ

4) (Mitzvas Asei #206) This mitzvah is to have Ahavas Yisroel. We need to love another Yid like we love ourselves: Just like we want to have nice things, we should want other Yidden to have nice things too! Just like we are happy when people play with us, we should try to make other people happy too! And just like we don’t like it when people are mean to us, we shouldn’t be mean to other people.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Kedoshim: וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ



Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah - Deios

Perek Yud: In today’s Rambam, we finish learning the first set of halachos, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah! We learn how to keep the mitzvah of not testing a Navi.

Then we start a new set of halachos, called Hilchos Deios! These halachos help us to have good midos.

Perek Alef: The Rambam explains that there are three ways to have each midah. For example, a person has a choice to be a very stingy person, saving all of his money and not buying even important things. Another person might spend lots of money all the time, even on silly things. But there is a MIDDLE way: To spend money on things we need, and not to waste it.

The Rambam teaches us that we should try to have the MIDDLE path in most of our midos.

Perek Beis: There are some midos that we shouldn’t try to go with the middle path! Even if a person doesn’t get angry very often, getting angry is such a bad midah, he should try to do the OPPOSITE! He shouldn’t get angry even in times it makes sense to get mad. The same is also with gaava, when someone feels like he is very important. It is not good to have the middle path — a person should not have gaava at all.



Mitzvos Lo Saasei

Today we coninue reviewing the list of Mitzvos Lo Saasei, the mitzvos about things we should NOT do.



Hilchos Beis Habechirah

When we learn about the Beis Hamikdash, Hashem counts it like we are BUILDING it! It also speeds up the building of the third Beis Hamikdash when Moshiach comes!

Yesterday, we learned about the 4 rooms in the Ezras Noshim in the Beis Hamikdash. Now let’s learn more about the Ezras Noshim!

The Ezras Nashim had a special balcony, where women could stand and see what was happening. This way, they could be a part of the simcha in the Beis Hamikdosh during Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, without being together with the men, which wouldn’t be Tzniusdik.

Nowadays, most shuls have an Ezras Noshim too, where women and girls can be part of the davening in shul, but in a tznius’dike way!

From the Ezras Noshim, there were 15 steps that led up to the Azarah.


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Kavana in Brachos

We say many brachos during the day, beginning from the many brachos we say in Birchos Hashachar. But do we really know what we are saying?

The Rebbe explained how even a child can bring so much kedusha into the world by saying a bracha with kavana:

BaruchBlessed! The word “baruch” also comes from the word “mavrich,” to draw something down. Besides for praising Hashem when we make a bracha, we are also bringing down Hashem’s kedusha into the world!

AtaYou! We can only say “you” to someone who is right there with us. We say to Hashem, “Ata!” You are right here with me.

HavayaHashem! This name of Hashem has the words “Haya, Hoveh, Veyihiyeh,” “He was, He is, and He will be.” Hashem includes the past, present and future all together at once! This is also the koach Hashem uses to create everything.

Elokeinuour Hashem! Even though Hashem is so great and powerful, He is OUR Hashem. He creates us, and is our koach and chayus.

Melech Ha’olamKing of the world! By Yidden recognizing that Hashem is our koach and chayus, we fulfill the purpose of Creation. This way, Hashem also becomes the King of the world!

See sicha of Acharon Shel Pesach, 5731



Kavana in Brachos

When we daven, we are supposed to have kavana. We should know what we are saying to Hashem, at least to know what we are talking about.

In Shulchan Aruch, it says that this is even more important when we say a bracha. When we say brachos, we should really know the meaning of every word.

Each name of Hashem also has a meaning that we are supposed to be thinking about:

When we say the name of Hashem of Ad-nay, spelled as Alef-Daled-Nun-Yud, we should have in mind that Hashem is the master of the entire world.

There is a name of Hashem that is spelled Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay (or in a siddur sometimes as just two Yuds), that we pronounce as Ad-nay. When we say this name, we should think about the meaning of Ad-nay, which is that Hashem is the master of the world. We should also think about the meaning of Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay, that Hashem includes all times, past, present, and future.

When we say the name Elokim, we should have in mind that Hashem is strong, and controls everything that happens in Ruchnius and in Gashmius!

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Hey

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



The New Division of Eretz Yisrael

In yesterday’s Chumash, we learned about the borders of Eretz Yisroel. Today we learn about the Nesiim who will help make sure that every family gets a part of Eretz Yisroel that is just right for them.

Eretz Yisroel isn’t actually split up until much later, in Sefer Yehoshua. First the Yidden spent 7 years capturing Eretz Yisroel, and then it took another 7 years to split up the land properly.

Near the end of Sefer Yechezkel, there is a famous nevuah where Hashem showed the Navi the measurements of the third Beis Hamikdash! There are also nevuos about other things that will happen when Moshiach comes.

One of these nevuos is about the new borders of Eretz Yisroel and how it will be split up in the times of the Geulah.

When Moshiach comes, Eretz Yisroel will be much bigger! Many of the lands around Eretz Yisroel will become part of Eretz Yisroel itself.

It will also be split up very differently. The first time it was split up, each shevet got a part of Eretz Yisroel that was the perfect size for the families in that shevet. If you look at the map, you will see that each Shevet’s section was a different shape and size.

When Moshiach comes, Eretz Yisroel will be split up into equal rows, like stripes across the entire land. Each shevet will get their own “stripe,” and there will be a stripe for the Beis Hamikdash, which will also include a section for the Kohanim and Leviim, and a section for Moshiach!

See Yechezkel perek Mem-Zayin

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