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Shlishi with Rashi

Moshe tells the Yidden how to act in Eretz Yisroel:

Be careful not to act like the Goyim! Hashem sent them out of Eretz Yisroel because of their Avodah Zarah — you don’t want Hashem to send YOU out too!

Moshe warns the Yidden to follow Hashem’s mitzvos EXACTLY:

Don’t try to change the mitzvos, even by making MORE things to do, like using FIVE kinds for the Lulav!

Moshe tells the Yidden to be careful not to serve Avodah Zarah, by watching out for three kinds of people:

Navi Sheker: If someone says that he is a Navi, and even if he makes a neis, but he says to worship Avodah Zarah — he’s a Navi Sheker! He is NOT a real Navi, and you shouldn’t listen to him! Hashem is testing you to see if you really love Hashem!

Meisis Umadiach: If a friend says to you, “Let’s go worship Avodah Zarah!” Don’t listen to him! The Beis Din will need to punish him so he won’t be able to convince anyone to do Avodah Zarah.

Ir Hanidachas: If someone manages to convince most of the people in a city to worship Avodah Zarah, the whole city needs to be destroyed. Every person living there is dangerous to other Yidden!

By following these mitzvos, you will make sure that Hashem will be happy with His nation, and He will give you the brachos He promised!



119 (second half)

Today’s Tehillim is very special! We are finishing the LONGEST kapitel in the whole Tehillim, kapitel Kuf-Yud-Tes! This kapitel is so long that we don’t even say the whole thing in one day — it is split up between Yom Chof-Hey and Yom Chof-Vov!

One of the pesukim in today’s half is, “Sas Anochi Al Imrosecha Kemotzei Shalal Rav” — “I am so happy with Your words (the Torah), like someone who finds a huge treasure!”

The Rebbe’s father, R’ Levi Yitzchak, shows a remez in this posuk: The first letters of the words “Kemotzei Shalal Rav” are “Kosher!”

What is the connection?

The Rebbe explained in a rally for kids that this teaches us an important lesson in fighting with our Yetzer Hara:

The nisayon of eating kosher is a very common nisayon. We see a candy that looks so yummy, does Hashem really care that it doesn’t have a hechsher? It’s easy to think that it’s not such a big deal if we just eat it.

But it’s not true! Every time we are careful to only eat kosher, it’s not a little thing, it’s like a huge treasure! Even though we only won over our Yetzer Hara in something that seems small, it is really a very big deal for Hashem.

That’s why the Roshei Teivos of the words “Kemotzei Shalal Rav” spell the word “kosher” — to remind us that our “small” decision to be careful with what we eat is to Hashem like finding a big treasure!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Ches

Hashem doesn’t always give a Yid special thoughts about Ruchnius during davening. Hashem wants us to DESERVE what we get!

How can we deserve for Hashem to give us Chesed? By us having Chesed for other people — by giving them Tzedakah!

That’s why the Gemara says that R’ Elazar used to give tzedakah before he started davening — it was so that Hashem would give him these special kinds of thoughts when he davens.

But how is that a fair trade? WE are giving tzedakah to people so they can have GASHMIUS and live in Olam Hazeh — but Hashem is giving US something that is even more than Olam Haba! Because being close to Hashem in the world is even better than Olam Haba!

Why does that happen? Let’s find out tomorrow!



Chof-Vov Menachem Av

Do you remember Pesach, when we asked the Fir Kashes (Mah Nishtanah) at the table? At the Seder, it is a mitzvah to tell the story of coming out of Mitzrayim, so we realize how lucky we are to be Hashem’s chosen Yidden and act the way He wants!

Now, when Hashem gave us the Torah of Chassidus, we ALSO need to tell over Chassidishe stories, to remind us of how lucky we are to learn Chassidus and act in a Chassidishe way, which will give us a special chayus in our Avodas Hashem!



Mitzvas Asei #226, #227, #230, #231, Lo Saasei #66

In today’s Sefer Hamitzvos we learn 5 more mitzvos. The first two are kinds of Misas Beis Din — the ways Beis Din needs to punish people who are Chayav Misa.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #226) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of Hereg

2) (Mitzvas Asei #227) The Beis Din needs to follow the halachos of Chenek

3) (Mitzvas Asei #230) After being put to death, people who did certain aveiros need to be hung

4) (Mitzvas Asei #231) A person who is put to death by Beis Din needs to be buried on the same day. Part of this mitzvah is also that a person who passes away should be buried on that day (unless it is more kavod for the meis to wait before burying him).

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #66) It is asur to leave a person hanging overnight. We learned in today’s third mitzvah that the Beis Din needs to punish people for certain aveiros by hanging them. These aveiros are connected to Avodah Zarah or Birchas Hashem, the opposite of bentching Hashem. The reason we don’t leave a person hanging overnight is so that Yidden won’t be reminded about these aveiros.



Hilchos Sanhedrin

Today we learn more of Hilchos Sanhedrin, the halachos of a Beis Din and how the judges need to act.

Perek Zayin: One interesting halacha is called Zabla — if two people who are arguing (like about money) and each want to go to a different judge, they can each choose one judge, and then those judges pick out a third judge to make sure that the halacha will be paskened the way Hashem wants.

Perek Ches and Tes teach us the halachos about following the Rov (majority), what most judges say. We act differently when it is a case of Dinei Nefashos, when someone may be Chayav Misa.



Hilchos Shevuos - Perek Gimmel

In this perek we learn about a shevuah that someone was forced to make, accidentally made, or accidentally broke.



Melech Basodeh

In Likutei Torah for Parshas Re’eh, we have the famous Maamar “Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li” — about the month of Elul! This Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh Elul, so now is the time to prepare for the new avodah of this special chodesh!

The Alter Rebbe says that in the month of Elul, the Yud-Gimmel Midos Horachamim shine in the world — the same chayus of Hashem that shines on Yom Tov! So why isn’t the whole Elul one long Yom Tov?

To explain this, there is a mashal about a king: Usually, the king is in his palace. If a person wants to go to the King, he needs to wait for a long time, and lots of guards protect the palace and only let in people who deserve to come in.

But sometimes the King comes into the field, where everyone is. He smiles to everyone and helps them with what they need. When the king is in the field, we can just go over the way we are!

On Yom Tov, we also need to be prepared, wear special clothes, not touch muktza, and daven special Tefillos to be able to feel the kedusha. But in Elul, the king is in the field — we can feel this special chayus from Hashem even when we’re just doing everyday regular things!

This helps us do the Avodah of Elul, fixing up the way we act every day and getting ready to have a Shana Tova Umesuka!


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Preparation for Davening Summary

Let’s review where we’re up to in davening:

Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah: We started the day the way a Yid should, by saying Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah. We made a Cheshbon Hanefesh and prepared for the coming day.

Birchos Hashachar: We woke up and thanked Hashem for giving us new life! We said brachos for many of the specific gifts Hashem gave us, asked Hashem for a successful day, and thanked Hashem for giving us the Torah.

Hareini, Mah Tovu, Adon Olam: We said we are ready to have Ahavas Yisroel before we ask Hashem for our own needs. We showed that we appreciate the special time of davening, and know Who we are going to daven to.

Akeidah and Kriyas Shema Ketanah: We asked Hashem to remember the zechus of our Avos when we daven, and read Kriyas Shema Ketana.

Korbanos: We went through the seder of the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash, especially concentrating on the Korban Tomid and the Ketores. Before or after saying many of these paragraphs, we asked Hashem to consider our words as if we were doing the actual Avodah, so that our davening should accomplish what it should.

Aizehu Mekoman, Rabi Yishmael, Sheyibaneh: We learned a part of Mishnayos and Medrash, and finished off by asking Hashem to rebuild the Beis HamikdashSheyibaneh Beis Hamikdash Bimheira Veyameinu!

In shul, this is followed by a Kaddish Derabanan, a Kaddish which is said after learning Torah in public.

Men and boys are already wearing their Tallis and Tefillin, and now we are ready to start the main sections of davening!



Birchos Hanehenin

LaHashem Ha’aretz Um’loah,” the whole world belongs to Hashem. The Gemara tells us that since the whole world is Hashem’s, you are not allowed to enjoy anything in the world without making a bracha first, our way of asking Hashem for permission.

But EVERYTHING in the world is a pleasure! We enjoy being alive, listening to the birds singing, feeling the wind blow through our hair, playing, reading, talking and laughing! The Medrash even says that we should really thank Hashem for every breath we take! Why don’t we need to say a bracha for all of these things?

We find something similar with the mitzvah of sukkah. The mitzvah is to do EVERYTHING in the sukkah during the week of Sukkos. We should sleep, eat, learn, talk, and relax in the Sukkah. But we only make a bracha on one of these things — eating. Why?

The Chachomim told us to make a bracha on eating, which we do regularly and purposely. When we say this bracha, we have in mind all of the other times we keep the mitzvah of living in the sukkah.

The same is with Birchos Hanehenin: We only make a bracha on formal, established pleasures like eating and drinking, and we have in mind everything else we enjoy!

See Yud-Beis Tamuz 5720 sicha 1

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



Even the Servants Will Know Hashem!

The Navi Yoel said some very special nevuos about the times of Moshiach! Yesterday we learned that EVERY Yid will have nevuah!

In this posuk we see that Hashem will give this kind of chochmah even to servants!

וְגַם עַל הָעֲבָדִים וְעַל הַשְּׁפָחוֹת בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה אֶשְׁפּוֹךְ אֶת רוּחִי

Vegam Al Ho’avadim — Even on the slaves

Ve’al Hashfachos — And on the maidservants

Bayamim Haheima — In those days of Geulah

Eshpoch Es Ruchi — I will pour My chochmah and understanding of Hashem!

See Yoel perek Gimmel, posuk Beis

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