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Parshas Ki Savo - Shlishi with Rashi

In today’s Chumash, Moshe Rabbeinu tells the Yidden how they should keep their connection to Hashem new and exciting!

Even though you are being given the mitzvos now, you shouldn’t ever get bored of them. You should feel excited, as if Hashem is giving you the mitzvah TODAY for the first time!

Hashem will reward you by giving you more and more chances to do mitzvos. For example, when a Yid will bring bikurim, Hashem will give him a bracha that he should have fruits growing again next year, so he will need to do the mitzvah of bikurim again!

Moshe Rabbeinu also reminds the Yidden to serve Hashem, and only Hashem.

Hashem will reward the Yidden by choosing only them to be His special nation!



83 - 87

Today’s Tehillim is kapitelach Pey-Gimmel to Pey-Zayin. For Elul we also say kapitelach Mem-Tes, Nun, and Nun-Alef.

Every single kapitel in today’s Tehillim has a special niggun which was made in honor of the Rebbe’s Yom Huledes! Can you find the niggun in each one?

In Kapitel Pey-Daled, the posuk says “Yeilchu Mechayil El Choyil, Yeiro’eh El Elokim BeTzion.” This means that people who trust in Hashem go from strength to strength, and they go before Hashem in Yerushalayim.

The Rebbe tells us that Yeilchu Meichayil El Choyil, when we are always doing better than before, brings Yeiro’eh El Elokim Betzion, that we will be able to go to the Beis Hamikdosh! When we keep trying to do better, every single day and every single hour, we will bring Moshiach!

Chassidus says that there is a new chayus from Hashem that comes into the world, not just every day, but every hour! When that chayus comes, we get more opportunities to grow in Yiddishkeit! We need to make sure to use that new energy to do more!



Igeres Hakodesh Siman Tes-Vov

The Alter Rebbe is explaining to us that by understanding the ten kochos in our neshama, we can understand a little bit of the Eser Sefiros by Hashem. But before explaining the ten kochos of the neshama, which we use only for Avodas Hashem, the Alter Rebbe first explains the ten natural kochos which are used in our regular relationships. Today we finish learning about the natural kochos we have.

Yesterday we explained that for a parent to explain something to their children, they need to use their midos, the special kochos of their neshama that are how we feel. The Alter Rebbe tells us today that really, deep inside, all of our midos come from Ahava and Yirah — feelings of love or fear.

For example, a father might show his Chesed, his kindness, by explaining today’s Tanya to his kids. That really comes from his Ahava, his love for his children! The same way, he might show Gevurah, being strict — because he has Yirah, he is afraid that otherwise his children might get hurt chas veshalom.

But our midos, which are the way we feel, come from our sechel, the way we think. Our sechel has three parts, Chochma, Bina, and Daas (ChaBaD)! Those are the special kochos we have to THINK and UNDERSTAND.

The more a person understands, the “smarter” his midos (feelings) are! For example, a little baby gets very excited or upset about little things, that older kids already know aren’t a big deal. The more we understand, the more we will care about things that really are important!

So by making sure that our Chabad (and especially our Daas) are the way they should be, we make ALL of our midos stronger and better!

IY”H tomorrow, Chai Elul, we will learn about the kochos we have in our neshama, which we use only to serve Hashem!



Yud-Zayin Elul

In the Chumash of Friday in Parshas Ki Savo, we read “The Tochacha.” It is where Moshe tells the Yidden all of the not-good things that can happen to the Yidden if they chas veshalom don’t keep the mitzvos.

In today’s Hayom Yom, the Rebbe tells us that these Klalos, which seem like curses, really have hidden brachos inside of them!

The Alter Rebbe was the Baal Koreh in his shul in Liozna. Once, though, in the week of Parshas Ki Savo he was traveling, and someone else leined the Torah.

The Mitteler Rebbe, who wasn’t Bar Mitzvah yet, was in Shul. When he heard the Kriyas HaTorah, with the very scary words of the Tochacha, it made him feel very upset! He got so sick from hearing it, that the Alter Rebbe was worried that he wouldn’t be able to fast on Yom Kippur, a few weeks later!

Someone asked the Mitteler Rebbe why he got so upset when he heard the Tochacha. It wasn’t his first time hearing it — we lein this parsha every year!

The Mitteler Rebbe answered, “When my father (the Alter Rebbe) leins the Tochacha, I don’t hear not good things — I hear the brachos hiding inside!”

In Chassidus, the Alter Rebbe teaches us the pnimius — the way things REALLY are, even though we don’t see them that way. When we learn Chassidus, we will be able to see how EVERYTHING is really a bracha!



Shiur #43 - Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321

Today in Sefer Hamitzvos we learn another mitzvah about Shabbos (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #321): On Shabbos we can’t go more than 2,000 amos (about 1 kilometer, or over a half mile) outside of the city — that’s called Techum Shabbos.

We learn this from a posuk in Parshas Beshalach: אַל יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי

The posuk means, “A person should not leave his place on the seventh day.” The Gemara says that this means not to go more than 2,000 amos outside of the city. The Mechilta (a midrash on the Chumash) says the same thing.

The Gemara in Mesechta Eiruvin teaches us the halachos about this mitzvah, and tells us that if someone does go outside of the Techum Shabbos, they get Malkos.



Hilchos Shabbos

In today’s Rambam, we finish learning about the halachos of carrying, hotza’ah.

Perek Yud-Ches: We learn how much a person has to carry to be punished for the melacha of carrying on Shabbos. There are different amounts, depending on the type of thing. (Of course, it is still asur to carry any amount!)

At the end of this perek, there is a halacha that the Rebbe would quote many times: If a person carries a small amount of food — less than the shiur — even inside of a very big keili, he is not punished for the melacha, because he wants to carry the food inside, and not the container. One time the Rebbe quoted this halacha to show that even if a person has a big and beautiful house, since the main thing he wants is the sefarim inside, it is as if the house is full of seforim — a Bayis Molei Seforim! The rest of the house is just there for the main thing, the sefarim!

Perek Yud-Tes: We are allowed to wear things outside on Shabbos, and it isn’t a problem of hotza’ah. In this perek, we learn what is considered wearing and what is considered carrying. One halacha is that if you wear a box over your head to keep your clothes dry, it’s called carrying, because a box is not a regular kind of clothes! Only normal clothing is not called hotza’ah.

The Rambam tells us to make sure to check our pockets before Shabbos so we don’t carry by mistake!

Perek Chof: Since a person is not allowed to even let his animals do melacha on Shabbos, the Rambam teaches us the halachos of what an animal is not allowed to go out with on Shabbos. He also teaches us the rest of the halachos about not letting our animals or our servants do work on Shabbos.



Hilchos Mikvaos - Perek Ches

This perek tells us when we can join things to make one Mikvah. For example, if there is another pool of ANY kind of water touching a mikvah, then EITHER of them can be used as a Mikvah! (That’s the way our mikvah is usually made today — there is a Mikvah with rainwater underground, and then the pool of water we actually dip into is connected with a hole to the rainwater underneath.)




From Chai Elul, there are twelve days until Rosh Hashana. The Rebbeim tell us that each of these 12 days match up to one of the twelve months of the year that we should do teshuvah for!

So on Chai Elul we look back at Chodesh Tishrei, on Yud-Tes Elul we look back at Chodesh Cheshvan, and so on.

How do we do teshuvah for that month?

We think back to what happened during that month of the year. That way we can think about anything that happened during that month and make good hachlatos that this month in the coming year will be better. We should think about the hachlatos we made during that month, and see if we are keeping up with what we decided to do.

So pick a time for the next 12 days, maybe before Kriyas Shema She’al Hamitah, to think back to that month and make sure that next year will be even better!


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Tefillos of Yomim Noraim

The ten days of Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur are very important days. During this time, called the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Hashem decides about what the year will be like for the whole world!

During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Hashem shows us that He is the King of the entire world.

When we speak to Hashem in davening in these special days, we say some things differently to show that we are speaking to Hashem as King, and we ask Him to bentch us with a good year.

In the third and eleventh brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, we change how we speak about Hashem:

- Usually, we say “HaKel Hakadosh,” the holy Aibershter. During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we say “HaMelech HaKadosh,” the holy King.

- At the end of the bracha of “Hoshiva Shofteinu,” we usually say “Melech Ohev Tzedakah Umishpat,” that Hashem is a King Who loves tzedakah and justice. During the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, we say “HaMelech Hamishpat,” the King Who judges fairly.

In the first and last two brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, we add 4 pieces to davening asking for a good year:

1) Zochreinu Lechaim (in the first bracha)
2) Mi Chamocha (in the second bracha)
3) Uchesov (in Modim)
4) Uvesefer Chaim (in Sim Shalom)

Like a person usually does when asking, we ask for something smaller first, then for something bigger. In the first two lines, we ask Hashem to remember us for life. Then in the next two lines, we ask for more — that Hashem should write us down for a GOOD life.

See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, siman Tof-Kuf-Pey-Beis



Forgetting in Davening of Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

The changes we make in Shemoneh Esrei during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah are very important. Hashem’s relationship to the world is different during this time, and we need to show that when we speak to Him privately in davening. Hashem is always the King of the world, but now that inyan is the MAIN way we connect to Him.

If a person forgets to say HaMelech Hakadosh (the holy King) instead of HaKeil Hakadosh (the holy Aibershter), he needs to go back and say the bracha again. But because the first three brachos of Shemoneh Esrei are all connected, like one long bracha of praising Hashem, he needs to go back to the beginning of the whole Shemoneh Esrei. (If he remembers right away, before a few seconds pass, he can just say the right words then.)

If a person wasn’t paying attention, he probably said it the way he is used to davening, with HaKeil Hakadosh. If he can’t remember if he said it right, the halacha is that he probably didn’t. He also needs to go back to the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei.

Forgetting Hamelech Hamishpat has a different halacha. Since even during the year we speak about Hashem as a Melech (Melech Ohev Tzedakah Umishpat), if a person forgets to say the words Hamelech Hamishpat instead, he doesn’t need to go back. Still, because there are some opinions that we shouldn’t mention tzedakah during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, it is best for him to daven another Shemoneh Esrei afterwards as a nedavah (a present to Hashem).

All the other lines in Shemoneh Esrei were added by the Geonim, after the times of the Gemara. If a person forgot to add them, he doesn’t need to go back. But if he remembers before finishing the bracha they are said in, he can say them in the place he remembers.

See Shevach Hamoadim Kitzur Hilchos Yomim Noraim siman Vov

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



Always Hashem's Special Nation

When Moshiach comes, EVERYONE in the world will serve Hashem. But still, the Yidden will be Hashem’s special nation! The world will be full of brachos, but there will be special brachos just for the Yidden!

וְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל ה׳ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתוֹכֵךְ וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי ה׳ צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלָיִךְ

Venilvu Goyim Rabim El Hashem — And many nations will join the Yidden in serving Hashem

Bayom Hahu — On that day of Geulah.

But, Hashem says:

Vehayu Li Le’am — “The Yidden will always be My special nation

Veshachanti Vesocheich — And I will rest only among you.”

Veyadat — And you will know

Ki Hashem Tzva’os Shelachani Eilecha — That Hashem sent the Navi with special nevuos for the Yidden!

See Zechariah perek Beis posuk Tes-Vov

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