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Parshas Haazinu - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, we are continuing to learn Shiras Haazinu. Moshe Rabbeinu is teaching the Yidden this song to encourage them to keep the Torah and mitzvos properly in Eretz Yisroel. He tells the Yidden what will happen when they come there:

To Eretz Yisroel, Hashem let you go
The best place in the world, where the best fruits grow.

The land is good for the fields, and the animals too
The best food and drink are right there for you.

They could have done so many more mitzvos when their bodies were properly fed —
But they ate so much that their neshamos were covered up instead.

What they did made Hashem so angry at them —
Because they served Avodah Zarah and forgot about Hashem.



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

We are learning about Na’utz Techilasan Besofan, how the highest koach of Hashem is in the lowest part of what Hashem creates.

Dirt has a very special koach! If you put a seed inside the ground, it will make a beautiful plant or tree from it! It is almost like making something from nothing, because the seed has to get rotten before anything can even grow! The koach that makes this happen is always in the ground. Sometimes it even makes things grow WITHOUT seeds, like some kinds of mushrooms!

This will later help us appreciate how special it is to do mitzvos with Gashmius’dike things!



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 #64 - Mitzvas Asei #153

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos, we learn the same mitzvah (Mitzvas Asei #153) again: How the Beis Din needs to make a calendar and calculate the months and the years. This is the mitzvah of Kiddush Hachodesh.

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Bo: הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים

The details are explained in Mesechta Sanhedrin perek Alef, Mesechta Rosh Hashana and Brachos.



Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh

In today’s Rambam, Perakim Yud-Beis, Yud-Gimmel and Yud-Daled, we are learning more about how the Beis Din knows where the moon will be on Rosh Chodesh.

To understand these halachos, you need to know about how the sun and stars and moon move around (orbits).

These calculations help the Beis Din figure out where the moon should be, so they can make sure that what the witnesses are saying makes sense, and that they really DID see the new moon!



Hilchos Geneivah - Perek Daled

Perek Hey explains that we aren’t allowed to buy or sell something that is stolen. If somebody does, the owner can buy it back and make the thief pay him back that money.



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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